In California, DUI murder, also known as Watson murder, is one of the rarest DUI charges. It is called Watson murder due to the California Supreme Court Case People v. Watson that determined a driver who is under the influence can be charged with murder if they are involved in a crash that kills someone. It is also one of the most serious since it is a second-degree murder charge.
The charge typically requires that the driver have a previous conviction for DUI, since they were warned when they are convicted that if they drive while intoxicated again, and if they kill someone, they can be charged with murder.
My Valley News reports that a Temecula man is still behind bars and is accused of causing a fatal DUI crash.
The crash occurred shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday on Winchester Road in Dutch Village.
34-year-old Joshua Morris was speeding south on Winchester as he approached Thompson Road. He failed to apply the brakes as he approached a 2017 Ford Fusion, slamming his car into the back of the Ford.
The force of the impact pushed the Ford into the intersection, where a Toyota Corolla struck the vehicle. The unidentified driver of the Ford was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to her injuries a short time later.
A passenger in Morris’ vehicle, identified as 39-year-old Sarina Cameron, suffered from minor injuries in the crash. She was taken to a local hospital.
The driver of the Toyota was uninjured.
Morris is being held at the Southwest Detention Center on suspicion of DUI and murder.