People v Melissa Ho

On February 9, 2017, a jury found Defendant Melissa Fan Ho was convicted of felony gross vehicular manslaughter for the killing of William Sampson, and felony reckless driving with great bodily injury to Michael Andrade.

On August 15, 2014, Defendant Ho was working at a restaurant in Milpitas. Prior to her shift, she bought cocaine from a friend she met in rehab while she was trying to curb her heroin addiction. During the shift, she would periodically go out and snort cocaine. After work, Defendant Ho went to a friend’s house in San Jose where she stayed up all night and partied. At the party, she drank beer, smoked marijuana, and took Xanax. Defendant Ho left the party at 10am on Saturday, August 16, 2014. She took an Adderall so as she could be awake for her noon shift at the restaurant.

Later that morning, the defendant drove to work. As she merged onto the freeway at approximately 65 MPH, she drove onto the right-hand shoulder. On the shoulder, three people had stopped to change a flat tire: victim William Sampson, his friend Damien Johnson, and a tow-truck driver Michael Andrade. Defendant Ho ploughed into them with her car.

The force of the collision catapulted the disabled car onto the embankment and also knocked Johnson and Andrade onto the grass embankment. Much to everyone’s horror, victim William Sampson was crushed between Defendant Ho's car and the flat bed tow truck. One of William Sampson's legs was completely severed and ended up on the embankment, with the remainder of his body pinned between the two vehicles. Emergency services pronounced William Sampson was pronounced dead at the scene. Tow-truck driver, Michael Andrade, suffered a broken nose and a crushed leg that required multiple surgeries to reconstruct with rods, pins, screws and plates.

On March 13, 2017, Defendant Michelle Fan Ho was sentenced to six years and eight months in state prison.

The case was prosecuted by Angela Backers, with the assistance of DA Inspector Gus Galindo and Victim-Witness Advocate Jenifer Mello.

Posted on Feb 28, 2017