Man Charged With Murder In Death Of Angels Pitcher - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man Charged With Murder In Death Of Angels Pitcher

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A 22-year-old man was charged with three murder counts and drunken driving Friday in the crash that killed Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others.

Andrew Thomas Gallo ran a red light in his minivan early Thursday and broadsided a car carrying Adenhart and three friends, police said.

"At the time of the crash, Mr. Gallo's blood-alcohol content is estimated to be almost three times the legal limit," Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.

Gallo could receive almost 55 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges, Rackauckas said.

Adenhart died at a hospital, hours after pitching six scoreless innings in his season debut against Oakland. He was to be remembered before the start of Friday night's Angels game against the Boston Red Sox.

"This Angel and his two friends were too young to be sent to heaven but the defendant selfishly and recklessly (got) behind the wheel after getting drunk. They didn't have a choice. Bad decision, blink of an eye, five lives ended, including the defendant's life is wrecked," Rackauckas said at a news conference.

Gallo will likely be assigned a public defender at his first court appearance, scheduled for Monday.

Gallo also was charged with driving under the influence causing injury, and driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 percent causing injury with a sentencing enhancement that he personally inflicted great bodily injury. In addition, he was charged with fleeing the scene of a traffic accident causing death or injury.

Fullerton police Lt. Kevin Hamilton said homicide detectives interviewed Gallo for nearly four hours Thursday. "There was a lot to talk about," Hamilton said, without disclosing details.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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