Rebecca Grossman gets 15 years to life for murders of boys killed in LA crosswalk

Rebecca Grossman, left, and daughter heads to Van Nuys Courthouse West Van Nuys, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

LOS ANGELES — A judge on Monday sentenced Rebecca Grossman to 15 years to life in prison for the murders of two brothers she struck while speeding through a Westlake Village crosswalk four years ago, saying her actions were “reckless and unquestionably negligent.”

After hearing Nancy Iskander, the mother of 11-year-old Mark Iskander and 8-year-old Jacob Iskander, angrily ask for the sentence to reflect the deaths of both her boys, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino sentenced the philanthropist to two concurrent terms, plus another concurrent three years for fleeing the scene of the fatal crash.


“She is a coward,” Iskander said of Grossman.

But Brandolino said Grossman is “not a monster as the prosecutors portrayed her to be.”

Appearing in court with her hair pulled back in a ponytail and wearing a brown shirt over a white T-shirt and slacks, Grossman, 60, agreed to pay $47,161.89 in restitution to the Iskander family. Her lawyers say the co-founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation had already donated $25,000 for funeral expenses.

The sentencing ends a nearly four-year criminal saga that saw her refuse to accept responsibility for the boys’ deaths and try to manipulate the case from behind bars even after her conviction.

“I never saw anyone. I never saw anyone,” Grossman said during her sentencing. “I would have driven into a brick wall. … I don’t know why God did not take my life.”

She said she went into a state of denial after the collision and shut down.

Looking at Nancy Iskander, she said tearfully, “My pain is a fraction of your pain.”

After a six-week trial filled with dramatic testimony, Grossman was convicted in February of two counts of murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and one count of hit and run with fatality in the September 2020 killings of the two children.

The boys’ mother testified during trial that her older children had been walking ahead of her and her youngest son in the marked crosswalk on Triunfo Canyon Road when she heard engines roaring. Two sport utility vehicles were barreling toward them.

Iskander dived for safety, grabbing her 5-year-old son. Her next memory, she said, is of Jacob and Mark crumpled on the roadway.

Grossman was driving behind Scott Erickson, a former Dodgers player, who earlier in the day had been drinking cocktails with her at a nearby restaurant. She was driving as fast as 81 mph and traveled another half-mile after slamming into the children, according to evidence presented at trial.

Prosecutors Habib Balian, Ryan Gould and Jamie Castro wrote to the judge last week that Grossman showed no remorse: “The defendant’s actions from September 29, 2020, through today show a complete lack of remorse and narcissistic superiority that leads to only one conclusion, that she is not deserving of any leniency.”

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