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Valley Roundup | North Hollywood

Mother Admits Guilt in 7-Year-Old's Death

September 01, 2000|CAITLIN LIU

A North Hollywood mother who was high on drugs when she was involved in a car accident that killed her 7-year-old son pleaded guilty Thursday to gross negligent vehicular manslaughter and possession of methamphetamine.

Lynn Margie Julian, 30, had been charged with second-degree murder and could have faced a maximum 15 years and eight months to life in prison had she been convicted.

Her plea before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Leslie Dunn means she will be sentenced to six years in state prison, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Peter Korn.

Julian's son, Tyler Chernoff, was riding in the front passenger seat when Julian smashed her car into a parked tractor-trailer truck. Though both mother and son had been wearing seat belts, the boy died of massive head injuries.

At the time of the July 5 accident, Julian was under the influence of methamphetamine, Korn said. But questions remained over whether the truck had been legally parked, he added.

Julian was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in 1993 and was sentenced to a year's probation after the charge was reduced to aiding and abetting a speed contest, according to court documents. Her driver's license was suspended at least twice, once in 1991 and again in 1998.

The woman was also convicted of possession of methamphetamine in 1997, Korn said.

"Obviously she didn't intend to kill her son, but she's nevertheless culpable because she chose to drive her car after taking methamphetamine, which put her son in great risk," Korn said.

Julian, who is in custody in lieu of $1-million bail, is to be sentenced Sept. 14.

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