Socialite Gets 15 Years to Life for Killing Young Brothers in Hit-and-Run

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty
Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty

A California socialite was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in prison for killing two children as she sped through a crosswalk in 2020.

Rebecca Grossman, the wife of a well-known Los Angeles burn doctor, was convicted in February over the hit-and-run deaths of Mark Iskander, 11, and his 8-year-old brother, Jacob. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino said during the sentencing hearing that Grossman had been “reckless and unquestionably negligent.”

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The philanthropist had been convicted of two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, and a felony count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death. Brandolino sentenced her to two concurrent 15-to-life sentences along with another concurrent three-year sentence for fleeing the scene of the crash, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I never saw anyone,” Grossman said at the sentencing, referring to the fatal collision. She added that she would have “driven into a brick wall” and did not know “why God did not take my life.” Grossman added that she’d gone into a state of denial following the crash.

She also tearfully told the victims’ mother, Nancy Iskander: “My pain is a fraction of your pain.” Nancy Iskander described Grossman as “a coward” during the hearing, according to the Times.

During the legal proceedings, prosecutors accused Grossman of refusing to take responsibility for killing the boys and also trying to influence the case in an effort to get a new trial following her conviction.

At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Grossman had been speeding as fast as 81 mph before hitting the children at a crosswalk. She slowed to 73 mph less than two seconds before the impact, data showed, and continued to drive for another half-mile after the fatal impact.

Nancy Iskander testified that her youngest son was at her side while her two older children were slightly behind them as they entered the crosswalk. She said she grabbed her 5-year-old boy and dived to safety when she saw and heard two vehicles speeding toward them.

The mother recalled in court how she had placed her youngest son on the curb and then tried to find her other boys, according to KABC-TV. She said she first came across Jacob, who was unconscious but still had a pulse—giving her hope he would survive—but knew immediately when she found Mark that he was dead.

Grossman had been drinking with her then-boyfriend Scott Erickson, the former Dodgers pitcher, earlier in the day, prosecutors said, and she was driving behind him at the time of the crash.

Her defense attorneys had claimed Erickson’s SUV hit the children first, but Deputy District Attorney Ryan Gould told jurors there was “not a shred of evidence” supporting that “ridiculous theory,” according to KCAL-TV.

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