DUI Appeal Fails To Overturn Conviction

My News LA reported recently that on Wednesday, January 20. the California Supreme Court declined to review the case of a man with repeated DUI offenses who was convicted for his role in the death of a woman after he collided with another vehicle in North Hills and then fled the scene of the accident. 

The offender is currently serving a sentence of 21 years to life in state prison on charges stemming from a collision that occurred on February 19, 2017 and killed a woman. The jury in that case was deadlocked on a murder charge, but convicted him of one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run driving resulting in injury, driving under the influence causing injury, and driving with over a 0.08% blood-alcohol content.

However, at a second trial, jurors returned a result of guilty on a count of second-degree murder.

In a ruling that took place on November 4, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected claims by the offender’s legal team that his conviction for gross vehicular manslaughter in his first trial precluded his second trial for murder under the principle of double jeopardy principles. The legal team also stated that jurors in the second trial shouldn’t have seen video from a body camera belonging to a responding officer that was filmed immediately following the fatal crash.

The appellate court panel noted: “It is undisputed Alvarado was highly intoxicated” when he struck a Honda Civic and “chose to get back in his car to flee” from the scene of the accident.

“He drove over 60 miles per hour in a 40-mile-per-hour zone, ran a red light and rammed into Duran’s car. He continued on until he ran over the median divider and hit a parked car,” the panel continued in its ruling. 

The driver of the Civic was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident due to blunt force trauma. A passenger was also injured.

The offender had been convicted of three prior DUIs in 1997, 2001 and 2006.

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