When an intoxicated driver kills someone, they are usually charged with either vehicular manslaughter or gross vehicular manslaughter. Under certain circumstances, the driver can even be charged with murder. Prosecutors generally only make this charge when a driver has had a previous DUI. That is because Watson Murder, a second-degree murder charge, requires the knowledge that a person’s actions may have resulted in the death of another. After a DUI charge is convicted, the person is made aware that their actions may kill another person. They sign a Watson admonishment and take mandatory DUI classes. Sometimes, the law does not always specifically require a previous DUI
ABC 7 reports on a driver arrested for murder after a suspected DUI crash kills a CHP motorcycle officer.
Michael Callahan of Winchester was arrested early on Sunday on charges of suspicion of murder and driving under the influence in a crash where he struck and killed CHP motorcycle officer Sgt. Steve Licon.
Callahan is suspected of driving while intoxicated on Saturday afternoon. He crossed onto the right shoulder on the 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore and hit officer Licon and the car that Licon had pulled over for speeding.
Licon died at a nearby hospital. The other people in the vehicle that Callahan struck were not injured.
Mario Lucio, a special services commander of CHP’s inland division, said that the murder charges were “completely appropriate.” Lucio went on to say that evidence had been uncovered that revealed gross negligence on Callahan’s part during and before the collision.
Lucio declined to comment on what evidence was obtained.