In California, if an intoxicated person is in an accident that kills another person, they are typically charged with either vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. A DUI murder charge is one of the rarest, but most serious DUI charges. Typically, a DUI murder charge requires that the person charged have a previous DUI and has attended DUI school or been warned about the consequences of a DUI accident that kills another person. However, if the prosecution can prove that the intoxicated driver acted with wanton disregard for the safety of others, they may be able to prove a second-degree murder charge.
KTLA reports on a 21-year-old driver facing a murder charge after a fatal DUI accident. Last Monday, a 21-year-old driver who was believed to be intoxicated crashed into an unoccupied tow truck. The incident happened Monday afternoon on Rosecrans Boulevard near the intersection of Elaine Avenue in Norwalk.
According to surveillance video, 21-year-old Austin Redden was speeding when he lost control of his vehicle, slamming into the tow truck. This caused the SUV to roll over, seriously injuring one passenger and killing 20-year-old Jacon Scianni. 19-year-old Diego Castillo and 19-year-old Andrea Sandoval were seriously injured in the crash. Sandoval is still on life support.
Redden was arrested for allegedly being under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty to charges of DUI murder and driving under the influence causing bodily injury. He is being held on $1.6 million dollars bail.