The Vigour Times reports that Nicholas Sanchez-McCormick was convicted of second-degree murder and two felony DUI charges for his role in a multi-car crash that claimed the life of a 22-year-old woman in 2017.
Late last week, an Orange County Superior Court jury found Sanchez-McCormick guilty of the charges for the three-vehicle crash at the intersection of Katella Avenue and Valley View Street at 12:40 a.m. on April 16, 2017.
Investigators say that Sanchez-McCormick was driving the victim home in his 2005 Chevrolet Malibu Classic sedan following a trip to Huntington Beach when he blew through a red light, colliding with a Ford Fusion and a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
The young woman died at the scene, and injuries were reported in the other vehicles involved in the crash.
Police officers responding to the scene administered field sobriety and breathalyzer tests to Sanchez-McCormick and found he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.17 percent – more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.
A subpoena of the onboard records from Sanchez-McCormick’s vehicle showed that he was driving 50 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per-hour zone without applying brakes.
Court records show that Sanchez-McCormick had a prior DUI conviction in Los Angeles County in January of that year. In that case, Sanchez-McCormick was given a Watson Advisement, which stipulated that if he were to be in another DUI crash that resulted in a fatality, he could face being charged with murder.
Sanchez-McCormick’s attorney, Terri Lynn Tauro, told the court that her client had fallen asleep at the wheel because of a lack of sleep and questioned the validity of the blood-alcohol report.
Prosecutors argued that there was no evidence of the defendant having “nodded off” and that he had admitted to investigating officers that he had consumed eight or nine drinks before the fatal crash.
Sanchez-McCormick remains in custody, and the date for his sentencing hearing has yet to be announced.