In some cases, murder is a deliberate act. This is why the law draws a very distinct line between manslaughter and murder. In simple terms, murder is a death that is the direct result of malicious behavior or a reckless disregard for life. Manslaughter is a death that is a direct result of negligence or carelessness for the safety of others. When it comes to a DUI that results in a death, the most common charge is manslaughter. However, there are times when murder can be charged. People with previous DUI convictions may be charged with murder. In particularly egregious cases, a prosecutor may try to charge murder without a previous DUI.
The Murrieta Patch reports on a man convicted of DUI murder in a crash that killed a young girl.
29-year-old William Patrick Causer was convicted of second-degree murder, the Riverside District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday, February 5th.
The charges stem from an accident in March 2016 that happened on Jefferson Avenue, right across from the police station.
Causer fell asleep and drifted off of the roadway, striking a telephone pole. In the car with Causer were Rebekah Joy Davis, who was also arrested on drug charges. Also in the car were 15-year-old Summer Carbone and her 10-year-old sister. Summer died in the hospital about 45 minutes after the accident. The younger sister suffered from a lacerated spleen and a compound fracture of the right leg.
Both girls were asleep at the time of the accident. Neither was wearing a seatbelt.
Causer was convicted of second-degree murder and child endangerment. He was also convicted of DUI causing great bodily injury.
Causer has a previous DUI conviction, which led to prosecutors charging him with murder.
He is facing up to 17 years in prison.