Guilty plea in Abdel-Gawad’s death

The Santa Rosa man charged with killing Skyline student, Jihan Abdel-Gawad and friend, a little over a month ago plead guilty to all charges in court on Nov.22.

Patrick Archie Worden, 23, plead guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Abdel-Gawad and Ashlee Prather were parked on the side of the road on El Camino Real in Burlingame on Oct. 16 when Worden drifted onto to shoulder and hit them. Both girls were pronounced dead at the scene.

Two hours after the accident, Worden failed a breathalyzer test with a blood alcohol level of .16, twice the legal limit.

A toxicology test was done right after the accident, the results took about 6 weeks to obtain. The test showed that in addition to being under the influence of alcohol, Worden also tested positive for methamphetamines.

Worden will have to reappear in court for sentencing on Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. Worden can receive the maximum sentencing, up to 12 years in prison, or the minimum, probation, although San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe says that is unlikely.

“I don’t think that could happen,” Wagstaffe said. “It’s all up to Judge Forcum.”

Since Worden admitted to both serious charges, if he is sentenced to prison, when he gets out, he faces the three strike rule. If ever commits another serious offense he can go to prison for life.

Both girls’ families were present in court but neither addressed the court. They do have their chance to speak in court at the sentencing, as well as Worden’s family.

Abdel-Gawad, 18, was an athlete at Skyline. She played on the women’s soccer team as a strong freshman center midfielder. Prather, 16, was Abdel-Gawad’s close friend.

According to Wagstaffe, who was present in court when Worden made his plea, Worden looked genuinely distraught. But that doesn’t change what sentencing Wagstaffe wants Worden to receive.

“We’re going to ask for the maximum,” Wagstaffe said. “The focus has changed from the crime to his punishment. It’s not a question of if he did it or not, the only issue is how long he’s going for.”