SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 32-year-old man was convicted of murder today for an alcohol-fueled crash that killed one man and severely injured another man in Santa Ana at the end of 2018.
Jesus Segura Herrera was convicted of second-degree murder, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, driving with a blood-alcohol count higher than the legal limit and hit and run with permanent and serious injury, all felonies. Jurors also found true sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury on both victims in the crash.
Herrera was charged with second-degree murder instead of vehicular manslaughter because he had been previously convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, hit and run and battery against a peace officer, all misdemeanors, on Halloween 2008.
Herrera faces a life sentence when he is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 4, 2022.
Herrera had gone out drinking on Dec. 2, 2018, and ordered a “bucket of beers'' at Spoons restaurant in Santa Ana, according to the prosecution's trial brief.
He got behind the wheel of his Acura TL and was going about 40 to 50 mph on Grand Avenue when he rear-ended a Scion XD at McFadden Avenue just after 2 a.m., prosecutors said.
A family acquaintance who was also at the bar that evening called for an Uber ride and was passing the crash scene when she asked the driver to drop her off there. She told police she saw Herrera drinking at the bar, prosecutors said.
Jorge Davalos Carrillo, 39, of Garden Grove, who was the right rear passenger in the Scion was killed in the crash. Another passenger in the front seat sustained a brain injury as well as fractures to the spine, rib and pelvis, and spent two months hospitalized, prosecutors said.
Three good Samaritans helped Herrera out of his car and told him to stay put, but he got back in his car and attempted to drive away, but crashed into a light pole, prosecutors said.
A blood test at a local hospital showed he had a blood-alcohol level of .25, which is more than three times the legal limit, prosecutors said.
Herrera told police he downed nine beers at a company party and had been previously convicted of drunken driving, prosecutors said.
Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.