Leonardtown, MD – A Danville, VA man charged with several counts in connection with a September 2017 motor vehicle crash that claimed the life of a St. Mary’s County woman, was found guilty Friday, March 22 of criminally negligent manslaughter with a motor vehicle, court records stated. A jury found the defendant, Yobani Hernandez-Sierra, 30, was not guilty of the most serious charge, negligent manslaughter by automobile, which is a felony. A St. Mary’s County Circuit Court judge sentenced Hernandez-Sierra to three years, suspending all but one year and ordered five years of supervised probation once the defendant is released.
Hernandez-Sierra was also found guilty of reckless driving, negligent driving, failure to control speed on a highway to avoid a collision and driving on a highway at a speed exceeding the limit. Those counts were merged under the criminally negligent manslaughter charge. The defendant was indicted on the charges last July.
According to a Maryland State Police (MSP) report, “on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at approximately 3:09 p.m., troopers responded to Route 235 at Poplar Ridge Road in Lexington Park for a report of a head-on collision.” The MSP investigation determined the GMC Terrain operated by Hernandez-Sierra “was traveling southbound on Route 235 north of Poplar Ridge Road when for an unknown reason the Terrain traveled head-on into oncoming traffic.” A Ford Ranger, operated by Rhiannon Marie Griffin, 27 of California, MD, was traveling northbound on Route 235 at the time. “Based on statements made by witnesses, Griffin attempted to take evasive action to avoid being struck by the Terrain,” the MSP report stated. “Griffin attempted to pull to the shoulder of the road but the Terrain continued onto the shoulder, striking the Ranger head-on.” Griffin was pronounced dead at the scene. Hernandez-Sierra was flown to Prince George’s Shock Trauma.
The defendant was represented by Eastern Shore-based attorney Steven W. Rakow. The case was prosecuted by St. Mary’s County Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Caspar.
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