California teen who livestreamed sister's death pleads not guilty to manslaughter

Obdulia Sanchez, 18, has been arrested under suspicious of driving under the influence and vehicle manslaughter after her younger sister died in the crash.Merced County Sheriff
died in a car crash that was .GoFundMe

Obdulia Sánchez, the California teenager who was arrested after allegedly livestreaming her sister's death in a car crash, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and other counts. If convicted, she could get a maximum of 14 years in state prison.

The 18-year-old from Stockton was driving the car with her 14-year-old younger sister, Jacqueline Sánchez Estrada, and another teenager in the passenger seats when it veered off the road and overturned into a field.

Sánchez was livestreaming the drive on Instagram while listening to music when the accident took place. The other teenager was injured in the leg, but her sister succumbed to her injuries.

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Sánchez continued recording the crash and her dying sister. "I f*****g killed my sister, okay? I know I'm going to prison for life," she was reportedly heard saying in the video, according to California highway police.

"This is the last thing I wanted to happen, OK? I don"t f*****g care, though. I'm going to hold it down. Rest in peace, sweetie. If you don't survive, I am so f*****g sorry," she added.

The accident took place on 21 July in Los Banos, near Modesto.

On Wednesday (26 July) afternoon, the teenager pleaded not guilty by video in Merced County Superior Court to a count of gross vehicular manslaughter, a count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, two counts of driving under the influence resulting in injury and two counts of driving with an elevated blood alcohol content causing injury, NBC News reported.

She was ordered held on $560,000 (£426,089) bail pending a bond hearing on Friday, 28 July, and a preliminary hearing on 9 August.

Following the Wednesday hearing, Sánchez's public defender, Ramnik Samrao, urged people criticising Sánchez for the crash and livestreaming her dying sister not to judge her without knowing about her.

"Certainly, anybody can say very easily that she is responsible for the death. She believes that, too," Samrao told reporters after the hearing. "She's said multiple times, for anybody that's seen the video: 'I killed my sister. I killed my sister.' So there's no doubt about that.

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"But whether a crime was actually committed, that's a separate story," the lawyer added.

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