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Boyfriend Slipped Underage Driver Drinks Before Fatal Crash

The boyfriend of a 20-year-old driver convicted of fatally striking a teenager with her car, then fleeing the scene, has pleaded guilty to slipping drinks to the underage driver prior to the crash, according to the City Attorney’s office. 

Lewis Cornwell, 25, was a passenger in Jessica Medsker’s car when she struck 16-year-old Alex Funk in San Diego’s Tierrasanta neighborhood last March. 

Earlier in the evening before the crash, Cornwell snuck his girlfriend drink after drink when servers were not looking, according to restaurant surveillance footage. 

As Medsker drove home that evening, she struck Funk as he walked with a friend along Santo Road near Antigua Boulevard around midnight. The impact killed Funk, a high school sophomore. 

For six days, police searched for the car involved in the crash.

When authorities spoke with Medsker, the 20-year-old driver admitted to detectives that she struck a teenager and then drove to her boyfriend’s house “covered in glass,” from the crash, according to a search warrant. 

Once at the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Traffic Division Unit, she told detectives she drove to her boyfriend’s house and stayed the night. The following morning, she took the car to a garage at an apartment complex in Normal Heights because a friend of her father’s lived there. 

Medsker also admitted to investigators she had some of her boyfriend’s alcoholic drink the night of the crash. However, she was not charged with driving under the influence. 

Prosecutors said Medsker had been driving 60 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the crash. 

In May, she pled guilty to felony hit-and-run causing death. 

At the young woman’s arraignment in late March, prosecutors revealed a shocking detail: Medsker’s sister is currently also in custody in Riverside, California, charged with the same type of crime.

Medsker was sentenced to the maximum penalty for the crime, four years in state prison, and is serving that sentence now. 

Several months later, in August, the City Attorney’s office filed a complaint against Cornwell. The complaint accused him of unlawfully furnishing alcohol to a minor. 

“Providing alcohol to a minor is more than a crime. It is reckless and puts lives at risk. My office will prosecute anyone who breaks this law, whether it’s a bartender, friend, family member, or significant other, and seek the maximum penalties allowed,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said in a statement. 

Cornwell will be sentenced on Dec. 8. The guilty plea was part of a plea agreement. Per the agreement, he will serve 100 days in custody and has agreed to other terms and conditions of a three-year probation.

Published 2 hours ago

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