Socialite Convicted in Hit-and-Run Deaths of Two Brothers: Southern California Tragedy

Socialite Convicted in Hit-and-Run Deaths of Two Brothers: Southern California Tragedy

A Southern California socialite was convicted Friday of murder and other charges related to the hit-and-run deaths of two young brothers in a crosswalk more than three years ago.

Authorities said Rebecca Grossman, the wife of a prominent Los Angeles burn doctor, fatally struck Mark Iskander, 11, and his brother Jacob, 8, as they sped behind a car driven by Scott Erickson, then in love, a former pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The jury found Grossman guilty on all counts: two counts each of second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter, and one count of hit-and-run resulting in death.

She faces 34 years to life in prison.

The fatal accident occurred on the evening of September 29, 2020 in Westlake Village, a city located in western Los Angeles County.

Attending the trial, “I felt like I was watching the boys’ funerals again, day after day,” their mother, Nancy Iskander, told reporters after the verdict.

“Someone is now being held responsible. Marc and Jacob are not dead, Marc and Jacob were murdered.

Grossman was not charged with being under the influence, but former baseball player Royce Clayton said he joined her and Erickson at a nearby restaurant where Erickson had two margaritas and Grossman one, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Prosecutors presented evidence that the data recorder in Grossman’s white Mercedes indicated she was speeding up to 81 mph (130 km/h) and slammed on her brakes, slowing her to 73 mph (117 km/h). /h), less than two seconds before a collision that triggered it. airbags.

The prosecutor’s office congratulated the jury on its decision in a statement.

Authorities said Rebecca Grossman, the wife of a prominent Los Angeles burn doctor, fatally struck Mark Iskander, 11, and his brother Jacob, 8, as they sped behind a car driven by Scott Erickson, then in love, a former pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“This decision underscores our commitment to holding accountable those who lead with total disregard for human life,” the statement said.

“We know this guilty verdict will never replace their lives, but we hope it brings some peace to the Iskander family as they continue their long journey of healing from this tragedy.” »

Grossman’s lead defense attorney, Tony Buzbee, repeatedly blamed Erickson for the deaths, suggesting that the retired baseball player’s car struck Jacob, throwing him against a curb, then struck Mark, the throwing into the path of Grossman’s Mercedes, the Times reported.

The jury found Grossman guilty on all counts: two counts each of second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter, and one count of hit-and-run resulting in death. RC/MEGA

Buzbee did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the verdict was read.

An attorney for Erickson said the former baseball player denies contributing in any way to the tragedy.

Erickson was initially charged with misdemeanor reckless driving, but the charge was dismissed after he made a public service announcement, the Times said.

Nancy Iskander testified that the black SUV did not hit her sons, but could have hit her and her 5-year-old son, Zachary.

She said she dove out of the way and pulled Zachary to safety.

The mother said she did not see Mark and Jacob hit, but three eyewitnesses said they saw a white or light-colored vehicle hit the boys.

Grossman’s husband, Dr. Peter Grossman, medical director of Grossman Burn Centers, was called to testify by his wife’s defense.

The Grossmans are founders of the Grossman Burn Foundation, which promotes care and support for burn survivors.

Peter Grossman said he and his wife were separated at the time, living separately under the same roof while dating other people.

His wife was involved with Erickson in 2020, he testified.

Under questioning by the prosecution, Peter Grossman said that of the hundreds of times he had driven with Rebecca Grossman, he had no memory of her speeding.

2024-02-24 02:14:46
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