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November 27, 2012

Drug Counselor Charged with Pedestrian’s Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:30 pm

TORRANCE – A Torrance woman suspected of slamming into a pedestrian and driving two miles while he was embedded in her windshield was charged today with murder and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 51 (dob 3-28-61), is scheduled to be arraigned today in Torrance Superior Court, Department 4. She is charged in case YA086025 with one felony count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury, driving with a .08 percent or higher blood alcohol causing injury, and leaving the scene of an accident, said Deputy District Attorney Lisa Houle.

Wilkins, a substance abuse counselor, allegedly hit Phillip Moreno about 11:15 p.m. Saturday as she was driving west on Torrance Boulevard near Madrid Avenue. She allegedly continued driving another two miles before witnesses surrounded her car at Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street and detained her until police arrived and arrested her.

The 31-year-old Moreno later died at an area hospital.

Wilkins, who has two prior burglary convictions and is a third striker, is being held on $2.25 million bail. If convicted as charged, she faces up to life in prison.

September 4, 2012

DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING WOMAN BY THROWING HER FROM MOTORCYCLE IN CRASH

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 8:46 pm

SANTA ANA - A drunken driver will be arraigned tomorrow for killing a woman by crashing into her motorcycle after making an unsafe turn into an intersection. Steven Todd Newcomer, 44, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence and hit and run causing death. He faces a maximum sentence of nine years in state prison if convicted. Newcomer is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 8:40 p.m. on April 12, 2012, 32-year-old Kimberly Krause was riding her motorcycle eastbound on Chapman Avenue approaching the intersection at Pioneer Lane in Garden Grove. Newcomer is accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol westbound on Chapman Avenue toward the same intersection.

As Krause legally passed through the intersection on a green light, Newcomer is accused of making a left turn in front of the victim without yielding to oncoming traffic. The defendant is accused of crashing into the victim and throwing her from her motorcycle. Newcomer is accused of briefly stopping at the scene before fleeing into a nearby residential complex to a friend’s home. He is accused of failing to call 911 to seek help for the victim.

Officers from the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD), who investigated this case, responded to the scene and located Krause lying at the corner of the intersection. She was transported to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center and pronounced dead at 9:01 p.m. due to multiple blunt force traumatic injuries.

Approximately 10 minutes after the crash, Newcomer is accused of being located by GGPD walking inside the residential complex near the crime scene. He is accused of displaying objective signs of alcohol intoxication including bloodshot eyes and emitting a strong odor of alcohol. At midnight, over three hours after the crash, the defendant is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .14 percent.

July 30, 2012

Driver Charged with Murder in Fatal 405 Accident that Killed Workers

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 8:31 pm

TORRANCE – One of two suspected drunken drivers was charged today with two counts of murder and other charges for his alleged involvement in a two-car crash early Sunday morning that killed two construction workers on the 405 Freeway, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Yocio Jonathan Gomez, 23 (dob 12-12-88), is scheduled to be arraigned at Torrance Superior Court, Department 4, after 1:30 p.m., said Deputy District Attorney Lisa Houle.

Gomez is charged in case YA085001 with two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of DUI causing injury, one count of DUI over .08 percent alcohol causing injury with two priors. Prosecutors will ask bail be set at $5 million.

About 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Gomez allegedly was driving a blue Ford Explorer that crashed into the rear of a black Lexus RX-350 driven by Stephan Christopher Caserta, officials said. The sport utility vehicle spun out of control, striking and killing Romano Lopez and Ricardo Zamora. A third worker was injured. The Ford Explorer overturned on its roof.

Officials arrested both drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence. Caserta was later released on bail and is due in court Aug. 10. His case will be reviewed later for possible filing, prosecutors said.

Gomez is facing up to life in prison if convicted.

July 24, 2012

75-YEAR-OLD DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR CRASHING AND KILLING 86-YEAR-OLD MAN CROSSING STREET INSIDE LEISURE WORLD COMPLEX

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:33 pm

SANTA ANA - A 75-year-old drunken driver will be arraigned tomorrow for crashing her vehicle into an 86-year-old man and killing him at an intersection inside a Leisure World complex. Dale Snyder Quinn, 75, Seal Beach, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by lawful act that might cause death with gross negligence while intoxicated. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison. She is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, July 20, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center Santa Ana.

At approximately 5:40 p.m. on May 20, 2012, Quinn is accused of consuming alcohol before driving her car. The defendant is accused of driving northbound toward the intersection of St. Andrews Drive and Tam O’Shanter Road inside the Lesiure World complex in Seal Beach.

The defendant is accused of failing to stop at the intersection, where there were three marked stop signs, and ignoring two pedestrian-crossing signs before slamming into 86-year-old Robert Dillon, who was crossing the street at a marked crosswalk on his battery-operated scooter. The defendant is accused of failing to slow down and causing the crash, which threw the victim from his scooter. Paramedics arrived and transported Dillon to the hospital, where he died eight days later from his injuries.

When Seal Beach Police Department officers arrived, they found Quinn sitting in the driver’s seat of her car near the collision. She is accused of displaying objective signs of intoxication including emitting an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery eyes. Quinn is accused of having a blood alcohol content level of .22 percent one hour after the crash.

DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEVERELY INJURING MOTHER AND 2-YEAR-OLD BY CRASHING INTO VICTIMS WHILE THEY WERE WALKING ON SIDEWALK

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:30 pm

SANTA ANA - A drunken driver was sentenced today to 15 years in state prison for injuring a mother and her 2-year-old daughter and hitting three others by crashing into them as they were walking on the sidewalk. Miguel Angel Sandoval, 44, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury June 5, 2012, of one felony count each of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol content of over .08 percent causing bodily injury, and two felony counts of mayhem, with sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing bodily injury to multiple victims, causing great bodily injury to Claudia G., causing great bodily injury to a child under 5 years old, and two prior felony convictions for commercial burglary in 2003.

At approximately 7:45 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2010, Sandoval consumed alcoholic beverages before driving his Chevrolet Suburban westbound on McFadden Avenue in Santa Ana. The defendant drove up onto the sidewalk and struck a wall near Graham Avenue. Sandoval continued to drive on the sidewalk and crashed into 25-year-old pedestrian Claudia G. and her 2-year-old daughter Jane Doe #1. He pinned the victims beneath the vehicle and dragged them across the street.

Sandoval hit three additional pedestrians, 23-year-old Gabriela F., her 2-year-old daughter Jane Doe #2, and 41-year-old Selina S. Witnesses called 911.

When contacted by Santa Ana Police Department officers at the scene, Sandoval displayed objective signs of intoxication including emitting a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and blood shot and watery eyes. He was unable to complete the officer-conducted field sobriety tests. Approximately an hour and a half after the crash, Sandoval had a blood alcohol level of .20 percent, two and a half times the legal limit.

The victims were transported to the hospital to be treated for severe injuries sustained during the crash. Sandoval knocked 2-year-old Jane Doe #1 unconscious, causing her to sustain fractures with extensive burns to her scalp and hands. Claudia G. was treated for burns to her body from being dragged on the road and multiple fractures, including a broken leg. Selina S. was treated for multiple abrasions which included a sprained ankle. Gabriela F. suffered cuts and bruises to her body. Jane Doe #2 suffered scrapes and abrasions to her face and body.

June 20, 2012

Suspected Drunken Driver Charged with Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 12:17 pm

LOS ANGELES — A suspected drunken driver who allegedly ignored CHP officers, ran a red light and crashed into a crowd, killing two people, is set to be arraigned today on murder and other charges, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Elba Jimenez, 37 (dob 5-12-75), is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 30 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. She is charged in case BA398854 with two counts of murder, and one felony count each of evading an officer, DUI causing injury and driving with .08 percent or higher blood alcohol level causing injury. She is being held on $2 million bail, said Deputy District Attorney John Gilligan.

Authorities said the Upland resident was allegedly driving erratically on the eastbound Santa Monica Freeway Saturday about 11:20 p.m. when CHP officers spotted the vehicle. When the officers turned on their lights and sirens and ordered the driver to pull over, the driver sped up. A short chase ensued with speeds reaching 100 mph.

The pursuit continued to the Golden State (5), when the driver exited at Cesar E. Chavez Avenue. The driver allegedly blew through a red light and hit a dip when the Toyota Camry became airborne. The vehicle slammed into two people near a taco truck, killing Claudia Fernandez, 38, and Marlene Alatorre, 19, who died instantly.

June 14, 2012

DRUNKEN-DRIVER MARINE CHARGED WITH KILLING THREE FELLOW MARINES BY CRASHING INTO TREE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 7:26 am

SANTA ANA - A Marine has been charged with killing three friends and fellow Marines by crashing into a tree while driving under the influence of alcohol. Jared Ray Hale, 25, is charged with three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence with sentencing enhancements and allegations for driving with a blood alcohol level over.15 percent and causing great bodily injury. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison. The People will be requesting $100,000 bail for Hale, who is currently in a medical rehabilitation facility. His arraignment date is to be determined.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 13, 2012, Hale is accused of arriving at Hennessey’s Tavern in Dana Point with three friends. The defendant and his friends were all Marines stationed at Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton. The friends included Christopher Arzola, 21, of Massachusetts, Jeremiah Callahan, 23, of Nebraska, and Jason Chleborad, 22, of South Dakota.

At approximately 1:50 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2012, the defendant is accused of driving away from the bar in his Dodge sedan with his three friends as passengers.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. Hale is accused of driving northbound on Golden Lantern in Dana Point. As he approached a curve in the road at the intersection at Terra Vista, the defendant is accused of losing control of his vehicle, running over the landscaped center median, and crashing into a tree on the passenger’s side of the car. The car spun around the tree and came to rest against the tree on the median.

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April 11, 2012

Arcadia Man Charged with Manslaughter in Death of Actor’s Son

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:25 am

POMONA – An Arcardia man was charged today with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of the 21-year-old son of actor and motorcycle racing champion Bruce Penhall.

Tatsuhiko Sakamoto, 37 (dob 6-26-74), also was charged in case KA097497 with DUI causing injury, driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol causing injury and a special allegation of causing great bodily injury. He is being held on $200,000 bail.

Sakamoto allegedly struck and killed Connor Penhall, of Corona, who was doing construction work on a closed section of the westbound side of the San Bernardino 10 Freeway. Sakamoto allegedly drove through traffic cones closing the freeway at Francisquito Avenue about midnight Thursday. Penhall was pronounced dead at the scene, said the California Highway Patrol.

Sakamoto is scheduled to be arraigned Monday at Pomona Superior Court, Department N.

The case has been assigned to Deputy District Attorney Christopher Stogel to prosecute.

If convicted, Sakamoto faces up to 10 years in state prison.

March 20, 2012

Drunk Driver Sentenced in Last Year’s Fatal New Year’s Eve Crash

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 12:19 am

LOS ANGELES – A drunken driver convicted of killing a husband and wife on New Year’s Eve last year was sentenced today to 33 years to life in prison, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Kennes Ma said Jorge Alberto Molina, 29, apologized to the family of Kelvin and Demetria Dorsey before he was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus.

Ma said Molina had a .21 percent blood alcohol level when he was arrested on Dec. 31, 2010, following a brief high-speed police chase. After the Culver City man ran a red light near Florence Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard about 11:30 p.m. and crashed into the couple’s car, he got out of his car and tried to run away before officers arrested him.

The force of the crash flipped the couple’s blue Infinity on its roof, killing them. The Dorseys leave behind five children ranging in age from 17 to 28, Ma said.

Molina, who had a prior DUI conviction, was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder and leaving the scene of an accident by a jury in January.

Ma said Molina admitted to drinking a bottle of tequila and six beers prior to driving that night. He also had a bottle of vodka in his car at the time of the crash.

“He had such a disregard for life,” Ma said. “He was traveling at speeds ranging from 55 to 100 mph before he crashed into their car.”

February 28, 2012

UNLICENSED, UNINSURED TEEN DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING FRIEND IN CRASH

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:08 am

SANTA ANA - An unlicensed, uninsured, teen driver was convicted and sentenced today for killing his friend by crashing into a tree on Ortega Highway. Francisco Jesus Ochoa, 19, Lake Elsinore, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and possession of a controlled substance, one misdemeanor count of driving a motor vehicle without a valid license, and an infraction for failing to maintain liability insurance. He was sentenced to one year in jail and three years of formal probation.

Early in the morning on Nov. 18, 2011, Ochoa was driving a Ford pick-up truck without a valid license or insurance westbound on Ortega Highway with friend Margarita Gutierrez in the front passenger seat. The defendant was swerving and weaving across the two-lane highway for several miles, crossing back and forth onto the wrong side of the road and onto the dirt shoulders on either side.

At approximately 6:45 a.m., Ochoa veered off the road, failed to slow, and crashed directly into a tree. He killed Gutierrez, who was crushed in her seat and pronounced dead at the scene.

At the time of the crash, the defendant was in possession of six Vicodin pills, for which he did not have a prescription. Ochoa was transported to the hospital to be treated for a broken leg.

During the sentencing today, a victim impact statement was read on behalf of Gutierrez’s college-student daughter, Mayra Estrella. Estrella wrote in part, “It’s difficult to put into words the pain, sadness and anguish I’ve been feeling ever since the accident. When she was killed, many dreams were killed along with her. We wanted to get matching pedicures when I came back from my Winter break. We wanted to travel together and see the world. [My brother and I] are never going to be able to walk into our old apartment and see my mother sitting in her usual spot on the couch, watching the usual television shows and greeting us with that crooked smile she always had. We’ll never forget our beautiful, wonderful mother.”

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