Judge aims for spring 2023 trial in Rebecca Grossman case

Rebecca Grossman walks out of the Van Nuys courthouse in May 2022.

The latest hearing in the high-profile hit-and-run case against Rebecca Grossman over the 2020 deaths of two young brothers took an emotional turn outside the Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday morning.

Grossman, 59, of Hidden Hills, addressed a small group of supporters for the victims' family as she left the Van Nuys Courthouse.

"I know you think you’re doing the right thing, but you don’t know all the details," Grossman said to supporters gathered in the hallway.

The quick exchange appeared to leave the group in stunned silence as Grossman continued out of the building.

Grossman allegedly hit and killed Mark and Jacob Iskander, ages 11 and 8, respectively, as they were crossing the street on Sept. 29, 2020, along Triunfo Canyon Road at Saddle Mountain Drive. The Westlake Village intersection is in Los Angeles County, just east of the Ventura County line.

Mark and Jacob were in a marked crosswalk with their mother, Nancy Iskander, and younger brother Zachary, then 5. Grossman was driving a Mercedes-Benz SUV. Both brothers died that night.

Grossman has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and one count of hit-and-run causing death. If convicted on all counts, she faces a maximum sentence of 34 years to life in prison, prosecutors say.

Attorneys have begun the discovery process to prepare for the impending trial. Tuesday morning's pretrial conference was presided over by Los Angeles County Judge Joseph Brandolino.

“I want to keep this moving to trial,” Brandolino said.

During the hearing, Grossman’s defense team, including defense attorney John Hobson and personal injury lawyer Tony Buzbee, asked the judge for additional time to contact expert witnesses for the case. Both the defense and prosecution agreed to a March 6 status conference, during which they will update the judge on their progress.

If there are no further delays, the trial could start as soon as early April, though it could be later in the year.

“I wouldn’t want to go much later than early May for the trial date,” Brandolino said.

Grossman is the wife of Dr. Peter Grossman, a plastic surgeon, and the daughter-in-law of Dr. A. Richard Grossman, who founded the Grossman Burn Centers, specialized medical facilities for treating burn victims in Los Angeles, Bakersfield and Kansas City, Missouri. She is the co-founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation and the former publisher of Westlake Magazine.

Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Ryan Gould, the prosecutor in the case, said a lot of factors determine how quickly a case moves to trial, from the progress of discovery to coordinating scheduling conflicts among witnesses. He hopes the defense moves along with the timeline presented by the judge, but will have a better sense after the March hearing.

"In a best case scenario, we're looking at May," Gould said.

As Tuesday’s hearing came to an end, Nancy Iskander, the victims' mother, was overcome with emotion after seeing Grossman leave the courtroom.

“Tell her Jacob’s birthday is this Friday,” Iskander said.

About a half-dozen supporters of the Iskander family also attended the hearing, many wearing buttons that read “Justice for Mark and Jacob” with a photo of the two boys.

Grossman, meanwhile, was accompanied by her husband, her attorneys and several friends and family members.

Jacob, who was 8 when he was killed, would have turned 11 on Friday, Iskander said. She plans to mark the occasion by going out to dinner with her husband and two children.

"I pray for every mom who's lost a son," she said.

Iskander said she has been overwhelmed by the support she's received, especially from community organizers Julie Cohen and Jennifer Nagel, who coordinated a recent Christmas card drive for the family.

She said anyone who wants to support Mark and Jacob's legacy can do so via the charity founded in their memory with the Ventura County Community Foundation. More information is available at markandjacobfoundation.org.

Jeremy Childs is a general assignment reporter covering courts, crime and breaking news for the Ventura County Star. He can be reached at 805-437-0208, jeremy.childs@vcstar.com, and on Twitter @Jeremy_Childs.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Judge aims for spring 2023 trial in Rebecca Grossman case