DonAnn Lawson stood in Long Beach Superior Court Wednesday morning and recounted the last moment she heard her daughter’s voice.
Jessica Bingaman, 41, was on the phone with Lawson on the morning of May 7, 2019. They spoke as Bingaman, who ran a dog-walking service in Long Beach, gathered her clients’ pets.
“I love you, Mom,” Bingaman said before hanging up. “Talk to you later.”
She never made good on that promise. Lawson would later learn Bingaman was killed by a man fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle.
The man, 43-year-old Javier Olivarez Jr., was convicted last month of crashing into Bingaman’s SUV on Temple Avenue and Third Street.
The crash killed Bingaman and five of the six dogs inside her SUV: Sasha, Maggie Moo, Indy, Scout and Toots.
On Wednesday, Lawson and other friends and family members implored a judge to sentence Olivarez to the maximum possible prison term.
“At 43 years of age, he should’ve been aware of the consequences,” Lawson said. “I will never hear my daughter’s voice again. … No more phone calls, no more memories to share.”
Olivarez, who faces a potential sentence of 44 years to life in prison, was scheduled to learn his punishment Wednesday, but because of a scheduling conflict involving attorneys on the case, the decision was postponed.
Still, the judge let Lawson and others give victim impact statements where they described the devastating nature of Oliverez’s crime.
Elise Roberts, who owned the dog Toots, described how she’s felt guilty since the crash because she had asked Bingaman to pick her dog up earlier than usual that day, potentially putting her in harm’s way.
“Never in my worst nightmare did I think it would lead to the death of a mother and five dogs,” she said. “But (their deaths) weren’t my fault. They were your fault, Javier. … You’re the catalyst of so much pain and grief.”
Bingaman’s daughter, Reagan, who was 10 at the time of her death, also spoke in court, where she reminisced about the “little things” they did as a family, like listening to music, eating together and watching movies.
In the days before the crash, Lawson says, Bingaman was planning out Reagan’s birthday and fifth-grade graduation celebration. After the crash, the planning focus turned to Bingaman’s funeral.
“Because of (Olivarez), I lost a core part of my life,” Reagan said.
Olivarez’s new sentencing date is scheduled for Oct. 18, though that could change depending on the attorneys’ availability.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Elise Roberts’ name and to clarify Javier Olivarez Jr.’s potential sentence.