Typically, a DUI murder, also known as “Watson” murder is a rare charge in California. This is because, in order to get a conviction of DUI murder, the prosecutor must prove “implied malice.” This means, generally, that the driver acted with a wanton disregard for the safety of others. Most of the time, a prior DUI conviction is necessary in order to prove that the driver was well aware of the consequences that driving while intoxicated could cause. When a person is convicted of a DUI, they are generally warned by the judge, their probation officer, or a DUI class of the possible consequences should they drive drunk and kill someone.
The San Diego Tribune reports that the trial of a man accused of two counts of DUI murder in a crash that killed a mother and her unborn child has begun.
On Wednesday, opening arguments began in the case against 46-year-old Andrew Milonis, who is facing two counts of murder among other charges. The charges stem from a Mother’s Day accident in 2017 where he slammed into the back of a woman’s car, killing her and her unborn child.
On May 14, 2017, Jessica Foderingham was behind the wheel of a Dodge Dart. Allegedly, Milonis crashed into the back of Foderingham’s vehicle, sending it careening into a tree in the center median of San Vicente Road.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans stated in her opening argument that Milonia had been drinking throughout the day and had at least seven drinks at a local bar before getting behind the wheel. The bartender advised Milonis to get a Lyft ride home, but Milonis disregarded the advice.
Following the crash, Milonis continued driving to a nearby hotel, where staff called a Lyft driver. When asked where he wanted to go, Milonis said: “anywhere he can get a drink.” He was taken to a local bar, where police apprehended him.
The prosecutors told jurors that Milonis’ car left a partial imprint of his license plate on Foderingham’s Dodge Dart. She also alleged that when Milonis’ blood was tested, his blood-alcohol level was 0.20% and at the time of the accident, it was 0.30%.
Foderingham was rushed to the hospital, where both she and her unborn child died.
Milonis is facing charges of two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run, and DUI.