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June 10, 2011

Teen Sentenced To 17 Yrs In State Prison For Four-Fatality Peninsula Drag Racing Crash

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 1:54 pm

LONG BEACH – A Long Beach teen was sentenced today (June 1, 2001) to more than 17 years in state prison after admitting he was the driver of one of two cars involved in a deadly drag race last August that killed four people, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Denis Alberto Reyes, who was 17 at the time of the Aug. 22 accident but who later turned 18, pleaded no contest to four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of car theft and admitted the hit-and-run causing death allegation, said Deputy District Attorney Karen Thorp.

Long Beach Superior Court Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani sentenced him to 17 years, eight months in state prison, Thorp said.

Reyes admitted stealing a 1997 Ford Taurus and racing with the driver of a Mustang down Ocean Boulevard on the Long Beach Peninsula just after midnight on Aug. 22, 2010.

The two cars collided and three of the passengers in the Mustang — Candice Bustamante Wood, Javier Marquez and Delysa Castro — were ejected from the vehicle. Wood, Castro and the driver of the Mustang, Jesus Calixto, were all pronounced dead at the scene.

Marquez, who was erroneously identified as the driver of the Mustang in earlier reports, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced brain dead. He was placed on life support and his organs were donated to 50 people, family members said.

Reyes, who fled the scene and was later arrested, was originally charged with four counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. However, the complaint was amended on Jan. 14 to charge him with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He pleaded today as charged in the amended complaint.

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