On Wednesday, an Orange County jury convicted Jeffrey Kirby of killing Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr., one of the founders of the popular MMA clothing brand Tapout.
The 53-year-old was hit with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, with an enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury. Kirby, who was also busted in 2002 for a DUI, faces up to 13 years in state prison.
The Costa Mesa resident will be sentenced February 4th, 2011.
Around 1AM on March 11th, 2009, Kirby recklessly crashed his Porsche into Lewis’ Ferrari. The Ferrari subsequently slammed a light pole, splitting the car completely in half.
Lewis’ girlfriend, Lacy Lynn White, was launched from the passenger seat but managed to suffer only a fractured elbow and several lacerations.
Unfortunately, Lewis was pronounced dead on the scene. He was only 46-years-young.
Newport Beach officers later spotted Kirby and his passenger, Lynn Marie Nabozny, walking away from the Porsche a few blocks away from the scene. After further questioning, it was determined that Kirby was driving the car at the time of the accident.
When officers interviewed Kirby, he was emitting an odor of alcohol, slurring his speech, and had bloodshot and watery eyes. He was arrested immediately and taken back to the NBPD for booking and a Breathalyzer test.
Two hours after the crash, Kirby registered a blood alcohol level of 0.13 percent. The legal limit in the state of California is .08. Nabozny was arrested for public intoxication, however was later released.
Nabozny testified that Lewis was NOT racing with Kirby.
Lewis was never a fighter in the UFC, but his contributions to the sport of mixed martial arts are unmatched. He is the only non-athlete to be inducted into the Octagon’s Hall of Fame.