Under California law, a person who has a previous DUI conviction and then is involved with a second DUI that results in the death of another person may be charged with what is known as “Watson” murder. While not a separate murder charge, Watson murder is a charge of second-degree murder. The law stems from a 1981 case that established it is possible for a person charged with DUI and killing another person to be convicted of murder. The penalties, if convicted, are fifteen years to life in a California State prison, a fine up to $10,000, and a strike on the person’s record under California’s Three Strikes Law.
Fox 5 San Diego reports on a man charged with murder for an accident the killed two and injured two more. 37-year-old Jeffrey Brian Levi was behind bars Wednesday night, facing charges of murder, vehicular manslaughter, DUI, and hit-and-run. The charges stem from his involvement in a crash on Interstate 15.
On Tuesday night, Levi was allegedly driving at speeds in excess of 100mph and swerving between vehicles. It was then that his red 2015 Ford Mustang rear-ended a Toyota Corolla. The Corolla skidded into oncoming traffic and the Mustang crashed into a ravine.
The Corolla was then struck by a city-owed Ford Explorer being driven by an off-duty San Diego police sergeant. The car then burst into flames. Levi emerged from his vehicle and walked away.
Bystanders were able to rescue a woman from inside the Corolla, but two others inside were killed. The off-duty officer was taken to the hospital with minor to moderately severe injuries.
Police were later able to locate Levi in a residential neighborhood. He is being held in the San Diego County jail without bond, pending arraignment. He has one or more DUI charges on his record from previous arrests.
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