Advertisement

May 3, 1999: Steven Allen Abrams steers his 1967 Cadillac...

May 02, 2004

May 3, 1999: Steven Allen Abrams steers his 1967 Cadillac into the

playground at the Southcoast Early Childhood Learning Center, killing

two children, 4-year-old Sierra Soto and 3-year-old Brandon Wiener,

and injuring two others and a teacher's aide.

May 5, 1999: A memorial service for the slain children is held at

the Lighthouse Coastal Community Church. Preschool Director Sheryl

Hawkinson collapses of an apparent heart attack prior to the service,

Advertisement

eventually recovering.

May 12, 1999: The center reopens, with many of the school's

students and teachers returning.

Aug. 17, 1999: The mother of Sierra Soto, Cindy Soto Beckett,

creates Sierra's Light, a foundation advocating safety guidelines for

child-care facilities in memory of her daughter.

Aug. 25, 1999: Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder decides a

newly constructed wall at the preschool will remain, despite

opposition from neighbors.

Nov. 30, 1999: The Costa Mesa City Council approves a permit for

memorial plaque to be placed on the preschool's wall.

Jan. 22, 2000: More than 100 people attend plaque dedication

ceremony at the preschool.

Jan. 27, 2000: The Wieners, whose son Brandon was killed in the

playground tragedy, file a civil lawsuit naming Abrams as well as

Hawkinson and the church.

March 15, 2000: The Sotos file a similar lawsuit.

March 24, 2000: Abrams is formally arraigned, pleading not guilty.

Aug. 17, 2000: Jury trial begins.

Aug. 24, 2000: A jury consisting of 10 women and two men finds

Abrams guilty of all charges -- two counts of murder, seven counts of

attempted murder and three counts of causing grievous bodily injury.

Oct. 23, 2000: The jury also finds Abrams "legally sane," that

Abrams deliberately plowed his car into the playground with the

intent to murder the children.

Nov. 1, 2000: Jurors steer clear of the prosecution's request to

give Abrams the death penalty. Instead, they give him life in prison

without the possibility of parole.

Dec. 15, 2000: Abrams is sentenced to life in prison without

parole by Orange County Superior Court Judge John Ryan.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|