Jury Trial of DUI Motorist Responsible for the Deaths of a Family of Three Begins

The Press-Telegram reports that the trial of a Long Beach man responsible for the deaths of a family of three on Halloween in 2019 began on Friday.

The trial of 23-year-old Carlo Adrian Navarro got underway in Long Beach late Friday, July 1. The jury for the case must decide whether Navarro knew the dangers of driving while intoxicated before he struck and killed a 30-year-old father, a 32-year-old mother, and their 3-year-old son. 

In a previous Los Angeles Superior Court trial, Navarro did not contest that he was DUI at the time of the fatal crash. Now, attorneys will determine whether the defendant should be convicted of second-degree murder under the legal theory of “implied malice”; 

Prosecutors allege that Navarro knew of the dangers of driving while intoxicated. The jury will decide whether he should be convicted on murder charges or the lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter.

Police reports indicate that Navarro purchased a bottle of Jack Daniels on credit and drank several shots of the liquor before getting behind the wheel of his Toyota Sequoia to drink with friends at a local park.

The young family was walking home after visiting relatives when they were hit by Navarro’s vehicle. Investigators said that Navarro was driving at “freeway speeds” with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit. 

Navarro ran two stop signs before failing to negotiate a curve, going over the curb and onto a sidewalk, where he struck the father, mother, and child from behind.

Both parents ended up in the roadway; however, the force of the impact threw the child underneath a parked vehicle on the opposite side of the street. Eyewitnesses attempted to help but were unable to reach the child.

Navarro admitted to officers responding to the scene that he had been driving under the influence when he “realized he hit someone.”

“This is a first-time DUI,” Navarro’s defense attorney, Bryan Schroder, argued.”It has horrible consequences but is not murder.”

The jurors are set to deliberate after the July 4th holiday weekend.

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