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Mark Anders Chalin pled guilty to criminal vehicular homicide on Monday for killing two people when he was having sex while driving. He crossed the median and hit another car, killing the driver of the other car as well as his own passenger.
There are laws against certain kinds of distracted driving such as driving while intoxicated or texting behind the wheel. Sex seems like the kind of behavior that is so obviously distracting no one in good conscience would do it.
Chalin seems to have disagreed, although he claims he doesn't remember what happened.
The accident happened in August 2011 when witnesses say just prior to the crash they saw Chalin's passenger, Amber Menezes, straddling him and blocking his view, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Jonna Martin was driving down the road towards Chalin when he went over the median and hit her without slowing down. Martin and Menezes were both killed in the accident.
Chalin was hospitalized for 45 days for his injuries. He claims that he doesn't remember anything between leaving a party the night of the accident and waking up in the hospital, according to The Free Press.
Vehicular homicide is a specific kind of murder where the victim is killed by a vehicle. By pleading guilty Chalin was able to get a shorter sentence than he would likely get before a jury.
A guilty plea is generally used where there is so much evidence that the defendant committed the crime that there is a significant likelihood of a guilty verdict. Instead of letting the court determine the sentence, the defendant can negotiate a punishment with the prosecutor. In general, the negotiated punishment is more lenient than what could happen in court.
For Chalin, that means a recommended sentence of four years in prison.
The prosecutor will recommend that sentence but a judge will make the final decision on Chalin's punishment. His hearing is scheduled for December 10.