The Orange Country Register is reporting that 53-year old Jeffrey David Kirby has been charged in the March, 2009 death of mixed martial arts entrepreneur and TapouT co-founder Charles “Mask” Lewis.
Lewis was involved in a car accident at around 1:00 AM on March 11th, 2009, in Newport Beach, California, that ended with his modified Ferarri 360 Modena wrapped around a light pole. Shortly before he collided with the pole, Lewis was struck by Kirby’s Porsche; both were traveling at high speeds.
After the crash, Kirby was determined to be intoxicated by local police and was arrested. He later registered a .13 blood-alcohol level, which the OC Register points out is 1.5 times the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle. Kirby also had marijuana in his system at the time of his arrest.
Kirby was charged in the crime and was today found guilty for “vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated;” he is now looking at up to a 13-year bid in state prison, with his sentencing to occur on February 4th.
46-year old Charles Lewis began selling shirts under the TapouT brand in 1997 alongside TapouT personalities “Skyscrape” and “Punkass,” with their business eventually generating yearly revenues in the multiple millions of dollars. “Mask” was a stringent proponent of fighter’s rights and TapouT was among the first brands sponsoring MMA athletes. He was posthumously inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, the only non-fighter to achieve the position so far.