Second court appearance for woman arrested while on parole for livestreamed crash

A woman arrested after crashing her car during a police chase last month, while on parole for an earlier crash that killed her teenage sister, returned to court Wednesday afternoon in San Joaquin County.

The arraignment hearing was postponed for the second time for Obdulia Sanchez, 20, on allegations she led police on a high-speed chase in Stockton. Sanchez was scheduled to return to court Nov. 19.

The Oct. 17 police chase ended when Sanchez crashed the 2005 Buick LaCrosse she was driving near Interstate 5, according to the Stockton Police Department. Officials say Sanchez was driving the car, and a male exited the Buick from the front passenger seat. The passenger ran from the scene.

Sanchez was arrested at the scene, and officers say they found a loaded .45 caliber handgun in the glove compartment and a substance believed to be marijuana on the front passenger floorboard.

Sanchez has been charged with evading police with “wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,” being a felon in possession of a gun, unlawfully carrying a concealed and loaded gun in a vehicle, unlawfully possessing ammunition and driving with a suspended license, according to a criminal complaint filed by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.

Sanchez had gained notoriety two years ago when she livestreamed the crash that killed her sister and injured her sister’s friend near Los Banos.

San Joaquin Superior Court Judge Ronald Northup has set Sanchez’s bail at $300,000.

The DA’s office also alleges that Sanchez has a previous conviction that’s considered a strike under the state’s “Three Strikes” law. That conviction stems from the crash that killed her sister two years ago.

Sanchez, who was 18 at the time, recorded a string of viral Instagram livestream videos before, during and after the Merced County crash that killed her sister, Jacqueline Sanchez, a 14-year-old Stockton girl. Her sister’s friend, Manuela Ceja, was injured in the July 21, 2017, wreck just north of Los Banos.

Sanchez was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and manslaughter charges for the crash that killed her sister. She was sentenced to six years and four months in prison. She would have been eligible for parole in September 2020. But Sanchez was released from prison Sept. 21, about a year early, after receiving conduct or educational credits while in prison, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has told The Merced Sun-Star.

Sanchez also entered into the state’s Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Program in November 2018. The program, prison officials said, allows eligible offenders with serious and violent crimes to serve their sentences outside prison and in the community.

The prison officials said Sanchez was monitored and was expected to show good behavior, and she was “only allowed into the community once (she earned) the privilege, such as for going to work or school.”

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Rosalio Ahumada writes news stories about criminal court cases in Stanislaus County for The Modesto Bee, issues related to immigration and immigrant communities and breaking news related to crime and public safety. From time to time, he covers the Modesto City Council meetings. He has worked as a news reporter in the Northern San Joaquin Valley since 2004.