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News / Clark County News

Driver gets 68 months in prison after woman ejected from vehicle and run over near La Center

Judge: “You left her by the side of the road like garbage”

By Dylan Jefferies, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 15, 2024, 5:26pm

A judge sentenced a Vancouver woman Friday to nearly six years in prison for a January 2021 fatal hit-and-run on Interstate 5 near La Center.

Lacee C. Lee Cabrera, 33, pleaded guilty in February in Clark County Superior Court to hit-and-run resulting in death.

On Jan. 31, 2021, Cabrera and Kendra M. Fain were driving north on I-5 in a Toyota 4Runner. During an argument that turned physical, Fain was ejected headfirst out the passenger’s side door while the vehicle was moving and run over, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

An autopsy concluded Fain suffered a traumatic brain injury. Her injuries were consistent with exiting a moving vehicle, and her upper body being run over, the affidavit states.

“Cabrera made no attempt to report the incident to law enforcement or stop to render aid to Fain,” the affidavit reads. Cabrera was arrested later that week after authorities tracked the Toyota to her boyfriend’s Vancouver apartment. She told investigators Fain opened her passenger’s side door and jumped out headfirst while the Toyota was traveling 65 mph, court records state.

According to Fain’s family, Cabrera lied to them about Fain’s whereabouts for days following the incident.

Fain’s mother, Letha Bay, asked the judge to hand down the maximum 68-month sentence so Cabrera would spend at least four years in prison, “one year for every night she lied to me about where my daughter was,” Bay said at the sentencing.

Judge Suzan Clark agreed, citing Cabrera’s behavior as “one of the cruelest things” she has seen in her time as a judge and criminal defense attorney.

“You left her by the side of the road like garbage,” Clark said. “Not only that, you did not come forward so (the family) would know what happened to her.”

Defense attorney Brian Walker argued Cabrera did not cause Fain’s death. He said that both women — friends who met in prison — struggled with addiction and mental health, and “there is nobody to blame” for Fain’s death.

Addressing Cabrera, the judge acknowledged Cabrera is the only person who knows what happened.

“I do know that you left her beside the road,” the judge said. “I hope this is the wake-up call you need.”

Through tears, Cabrera quietly addressed the courtroom, where multiple members of Fain’s family gathered.

“She was my best friend,” Cabrera said. “I think about her every day.”