In California, if death results from a DUI accident, the driver can be looking at charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, or even murder. Generally, a DUI-murder charge requires very specific circumstances. One of those circumstances is a previous DUI. However, if the prosecutor feels that a person has been particularly reckless, such as speeding or driving recklessly, they may feel that they can establish implied malice, which is necessary for a DUI murder charge. As a second-degree murder charge, the sentence is a possibility of 15 years to life in prison. More time can be added if more than one person was injured or killed in the accident.
KTLA reports on a man facing two second-degree murder charges for a July 2017 accident that killed two of his passengers.
23-year-old Norman David Martin was arrested on Friday and charged with two counts of felony second-degree murder.
The charges stem from an accident that occurred on July 22, 2017. Allegedly, Martin was driving a Corvette at speeds of up to 138 m.p.h. He ran a red light at Jamboree Road and Main Street according to the Orange County District Attorneys Office.
The Corvette then went airborne when Martin lost control of the vehicle. He struck multiple palm trees along with several other objects.
His two passengers, 26-year-old Jamie Lopez and 26-year-old Nancy Ortiz, as well as Martin himself, were ejected from the vehicle. The Corvette is only meant for two people – the passenger and the driver.
Ortiz and Lopez were pronounced dead at the scene. Martin was critically injured.
Hours after the accident, Martin allegedly had a blood-alcohol content of .08%, which is right at the legal limit.
Martin is being held on a bail of $2 million.
If convicted of all charges, Martin faces 30 years to life in prison.