Man Sentenced to 24 Years for 2022 DUI Crash

KRON San Francisco reports that a man who boasted of his lifetime of crime to police was sentenced to serve more than 20 years in a Sonoma County Courtroom last week.

In a statement, Sonoma County District Attorney Carla Rodriguez told reporters that the defendant, 36-year-old Jose Angel Medez Torres, had lived his entire adult life committing serious criminal offenses. “Simply put, the community is safer with him incarcerated,” Rodriguez said.

In court, prosecutors outlined how Torres went on a two-day crime spree in August 2022 when he violently ripped a cash register from a cashier at a 76 gas station. Video surveillance video taken from the business’ security cameras confirmed Torres’ identity.

The following day, Torres was pulled over in Rohnert Park by police officers for vehicle code violations. During the interview, Torres gave officers a false name. During further questioning, Torres fled and led officers on a short pursuit. During the pursuit, Torres veered into the wrong traffic lane and collided with another vehicle head-on.

Torres abandoned his vehicle and fled to a nearby creek bed, where police eventually caught up to him and placed him under arrest. A toxicology test would later reveal that Torres was high on methamphetamine at the time of his arrest and was carrying thousands of dollars in cash. 

The victim in the other vehicle survived the crash but has been left with significant injuries that cause him great pain and anxiety. The victim has been unable to work or participate in everyday activities since the incident.

Judge Mark Urioste sentenced the Watsonville man to the maximum prison sentence of more than 24 years after a jury found him guilty of robbery, commercial burglary, DUI causing great bodily harm, fleeing a law enforcement officer, and possession of tear gas. 

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