Under California law, if a DUI ends with a fatality, you can be charged with murder. Rather than it being a separate charge under California law, it is under CA Penal Code 187 as a second-degree murder charge. It is always charged as a felony. Typically, it requires previous DUIs before a charge of Watson murder or DUI murder can be made. This is because the sentencing for a DUI charge usually includes probation and attending a DUI class. In both of these situations, a driver is made aware of the consequences of drinking and driving. The penalties for DUI murder are 15-years-to-life in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Your Central Valley reports that a man has been sentenced to life in prison for a DUI murder that claimed the life of a 1-year-old child.
51-year-old Timothy McDarment was found guilty of several charges, including second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony hit and run resulting in death or injury, and driving on a suspended license.
The charges stem from a crash that occurred on June 19, 2017 at about 5 p.m. McDarment was driving at a high rate of speed in the area of Springville Avenue and Doyle Street near Porterville. He attempted to pass the victim’s car by crossing into oncoming traffic lanes.
The victims began to make a left turn into a private driveway, and McDarment struck their vehicle. McDarment fled the scene on foot, but bystanders were able to catch him and hold him until police arrived.
McDarment had a .13% BAC at the time of the accident. An infant in the victim’s car was rushed to the hospital where she died. Two other women were also injured in the accident.
McDarment has 3 previous DUI convictions from 2000, 2010, and 2015. He was still on probation from the 2015 DUI when the tragic accident occurred.
McDarment will be eligible for parole after serving 22 years of his sentence.