Man Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in Death of Promoter

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Prosecutors charged a man Friday with vehicular manslaughter in the death of a mixed martial arts promoter killed when his red Ferrari was sheared in half in a collision.

Jeffrey David Kirby, 51, of Costa Mesa was also charged with
gross negligence and one felony count of driving under the
influence causing bodily injury.

Prosecutors are also seeking sentencing enhancements for fleeing
the scene and causing bodily injury to more than one person.

Charles David Lewis Jr., known as "Mask," died early Wednesday
after his 2004 Ferrari Modena collided with Kirby's 1977 Porsche in
Newport Beach. The Ferrari hit a cement light post and was sliced
in half, trapping Lewis in the front half and ejecting his
passenger, 23-year-old Lacy Lynn White.

She remained hospitalized with a fractured elbow and
lacerations.

Police discovered a Porsche not far from the accident with
moderate body damage. They found Kirby and his passenger,
32-year-old Lynn Marie Nabozny, walking away from the car.

Nabozny, of Newport Beach, was arrested for investigation of
public intoxication and released. She will not be charged, police
said.

Kirby, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to driving under the
influence, had a blood-alcohol level of .13 two hours after the
crash, prosecutors said in a statement. The legal limit for drivers
in California is .08.

He also had a 1985 conviction for driving under the influence in
Nevada, said Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez.

Lewis, 45, was known for his signature face paint stripes and
was a pioneer in mixed martial arts, considered an extreme sport
that combines wrestling, martial arts and boxing. It remains
illegal in some states.

He and his friends sold T-shirts at local gyms and events before
founding the clothing line TapouT in 1997. The line is sold in
20,000 stores worldwide and last year had more than $50 million in
revenue.

Lewis and two partners also starred in a reality TV show called
"TapouT" on the Versus channel that involved roaming the country
seeking mixed martial arts fighters to train and sponsor.

At a brief hearing Friday, Kirby's arraignment was continued
until March 27 at his request, said Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for
the Orange County district attorney's office.

Kirby's bail was reduced to $500,000 from $2 million, with the
condition that he cannot drive or consume alcohol if he posts the
bond, she said.

Defense attorney Steven Cron did not immediately return a
message seeking comment Friday afternoon.


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