Generally, a DUI murder charge in California is considered second-degree murder. For a prosecutor to invoke a DUI murder, also known as a Watson murder, they must prove that the driver had a previous DUI and signed a Watson acknowledgment or attended DUI school. In some cases, second-degree murder charges might still be charged if the prosecutor feels that certain conditions have been met. Second-degree murder is defined as a murder that is willful but is not deliberate and premeditated. NBC Los Angeles reports on a verdict reached in the case where a woman drove with a man lodged in her windshield.
Esteyci “Stacy” Sanchez had a beer and another five alcoholic drinks on July 27th, 2016. She then got into her vehicle and drove along Mission Avenue in Oceanside. This is when she struck 69-year-old Jack Tenhulzen as he walked on the sidewalk.
The impact was so forceful that it stripped Tenhulzen of his clothing and severed his leg. The leg crashed through the back windshield and landed on the trunk of the car. Tenhulzen bled to death in the passenger side of Sanchez’s vehicle.
Sanchez drove for a mile and then got out of her car. She called her boyfriend and then walked home about two blocks away.
A jury just recently convicted Sanchez of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and hit-and-run resulting in serious injury or death. Her blood-alcohol at the time of the accident was .22, nearly three times the legal limit.
Sanchez will have a sentencing hearing on May 31st.