Rebecca Grossman Sentenced to 15 Years to Life in Prison for Murdering Two Young Brothers in Westlake Village Hit-and-Run


On the evening of September 29, 2020, Rebecca Grossman was driving her white Mercedes SUV on Triunfo Canyon Road in Westlake Village. Grossman was traveling at a speed of 73 mph in a 45 mph residential zone. The vehicle’s data recorder indicated that she had accelerated to this excessive speed just seconds before the collision.

As Grossman approached a marked crosswalk, she struck Mark Iskander, 11, and Jacob Iskander, 8, who were crossing the street with their family. The boys were ahead of their mother, Nancy Iskander, and their younger brother when the speeding SUV hit them. Despite the impact, Grossman did not stop immediately. She continued driving for approximately a quarter-mile until her vehicle’s crash safety features activated, cutting off the fuel supply and forcing the car to a stop.

Nancy Iskander managed to grab her youngest son and dive out of the way, but she could not save Mark and Jacob from the speeding SUV. The collision resulted in fatal injuries to the two young boys.

Legal Proceedings

Rebecca Grossman faced serious charges following the tragic incident. She was charged with:

  • Two counts of second-degree murder: This charge is based on the unlawful killing of Mark and Jacob Iskander with malice aforethought.
  • Two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence: These charges stem from her reckless driving behavior, which led to the deaths of the two young boys.
  • One count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death: This charge is due to Grossman’s failure to stop and render aid after the collision.

Conviction and Sentencing

Grossman was convicted by a jury on February 23, 2024. During the trial, the prosecution presented compelling evidence of her reckless actions and the severe impact on the victims’ family.

On June 10, 2024, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino sentenced her to 15 years to life in state prison. The sentence included:

  • 15 years to life for each of the two counts of second-degree murder, to run concurrently.
  • Three years for the hit-and-run charge, to run concurrently with the other sentences.
  • Additionally, Grossman was ordered to pay $47,161.89 in restitution to the victims’ family, covering funeral expenses and other related costs.

Judge Brandolino acknowledged the severity of Grossman’s actions, noting the reckless and negligent nature of her driving. Despite the defense’s arguments for leniency based on her humanitarian work and lack of prior criminal record, the court emphasized the grave consequences of her actions and the need for accountability.

Evidence Presented at Trial

Speed and Impact

  • Data Recorder: The data recorder in Grossman’s Mercedes showed she accelerated to 81 mph just seconds before the crash. The speed limit in the residential area was 45 mph.
  • Investigator Testimony: Investigator Michael Hale testified that the impact of the crash was equivalent to the force of the vehicle being dropped from a 12-story height.

Witness Testimonies

  • Consumption of Substances: Testimonies revealed that Grossman had consumed at least two margaritas and taken Valium earlier that day, which could have impaired her mental capacity and physical reactions.
  • Erratic Driving: Multiple witnesses testified that she drove erratically and at excessive speeds before the crash. Witnesses reported seeing Grossman swerving into the bicycle lane and driving dangerously.
  • Deadly Game of Chase: Prosecutors argued that Grossman was playing a “deadly game of chase” with Scott Erickson, her boyfriend at the time, who was driving another vehicle. This behavior was characterized by reckless and competitive driving at high speeds.

Prosecution Arguments

  • Narcissistic Superiority: Prosecutors portrayed Grossman as having a “narcissistic superiority” and noted her lack of remorse for her actions. They argued that she demonstrated a complete disregard for human life.
  • Manipulation from Jail: Prosecutors also argued that Grossman attempted to manipulate the case from behind bars, showing no genuine remorse or acceptance of responsibility for the crash.

Defense Arguments

  • Denial and Shock: The defense claimed that Grossman was in a state of denial and shock following the incident. Her attorneys argued that she did not see the boys and was overwhelmed by the events.
  • Humanitarian Work: Grossman’s attorneys highlighted her humanitarian work, including her efforts with the Grossman Burn Foundation, and her lack of a prior criminal record. They argued for leniency based on her contributions to society and her previously clean record.
  • Impact on Family: Letters from Grossman’s family and friends were presented, depicting her as a loving mother and humanitarian who had faced personal hardships and was deeply affected by the incident.

Judge’s Decision

On June 10, 2024, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino sentenced Rebecca Grossman to 15 years to life on both counts of second-degree murder and an additional three years for the hit-and-run charge. All sentences are to run concurrently. Judge Brandolino acknowledged the reckless and negligent nature of Grossman’s actions but stated that she was not the monster portrayed by the prosecution. He noted the gravity of her actions while also considering her lack of prior criminal record and her humanitarian work.

The sentencing brought forth strong reactions from the victims’ family and the community:

  • Nancy Iskander’s Emotional Statement: Nancy Iskander, the mother of Mark and Jacob, delivered a heartfelt and emotional statement in court. She asked for a sentence that truly reflected the loss of her children and the devastating impact on her family. Her statement highlighted the deep pain and grief caused by the tragedy.
  • Community Impact: Community members and family friends described the profound impact of the tragedy on their lives. They spoke about the loss felt by the community, the fear instilled in children about crossing streets, and the overall emotional toll of the incident.
  • Prosecutors’ Disappointment: Prosecutors expressed disappointment with the sentence, believing it did not fully reflect the severity of Grossman’s actions. They had pushed for a harsher sentence, advocating for 34 years to life in prison to underscore the gravity of her reckless behavior and the resulting deaths of the two young boys.

Rebecca Grossman’s sentencing to 15 years to life in prison underscores the grave consequences of reckless driving and hit-and-run incidents. The legal proceedings highlighted the importance of accountability and justice for the victims, Mark and Jacob Iskander. District Attorney George Gascón and other officials reiterated their commitment to supporting the victims’ family and ensuring community safety through the legal process. The case serves as a stark reminder of the responsibility drivers hold and the devastating effects of negligence behind the wheel.

Incident Overview

Date of Incident: September 29, 2020
Location: Triunfo Canyon Road, Westlake Village, CA
Victims: Mark Iskander (11) and Jacob Iskander (8)
Defendant: Rebecca Grossman (dob 6/14/63), co-founder of Grossman Burn Foundation
Date of Sentencing: June 10, 2024


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