SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A judge refused Wednesday to throw out manslaughter and other charges against a man who allegedly drove the wrong way on a freeway while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, causing the death of a sheriff's deputy in pursuit.
Jose Pedro Lopez, also known as Jose Lopez Jasso, is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury, driving with a measurable blood-alcohol causing injury and a misdemeanor charge of driving the wrong way on a divided highway in the Feb. 28 death of Deputy Ken Collier.
Lopez, 23, was bound over for trial after a preliminary hearing last May.
On Wednesday, Judge Laura Halgren ruled that sufficient evidence had been presented in today's hearing to support the earlier findings of Judge Lisa Foster.
Trial is set for Dec. 1.
Witnesses testified at the preliminary hearing that they saw a small sedan traveling eastbound on westbound state Route 52 around 3:15 a.m. on Feb. 28.
Maria Sanders said she was driving home to Miramar when she noticed the headlights of a wrong-way driver. The witness said she pulled over to the right shoulder and let the wrong-way vehicle pass her.
The witness said she noticed a sheriff's vehicle with its emergency lights in pursuit, then saw it hit something and burst into flames.
Defense attorney Bruce Kotler argued unsuccessfully that Lopez was not aware that he was being pursued and therefore should not be held to answer on the gross vehicular manslaughter charge. He called it a "freakish accident."
But Deputy District Attorney Damon Mosler told Foster that Lopez should have known that driving the wrong way on a freeway is dangerous.
Lopez -- who is also charged with possession of a shank in the county jail and a misdemeanor charge of battery on a correctional deputy -- faces up to 13 years in prison if convicted, said prosecutor Damon Mosler.
Authorities asked the public Friday for help in identifying and tracking down a pair of thieves who have carried out a two-week series of bank robberies this month in the San Diego area.
Backers of an initiative that would allow San Diego State University to buy the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley for campus expansion are scheduled to begin seeking petition signatures Saturday.
An unknown assailant jumped a woman Friday on a walking trail near Gillespie Field airport and choked her nearly into unconsciousness, fleeing when she managed to break free, authorities reported.
The San Diego Gulls allowed power-play and shorthanded goals in the first period and an empty-net goal in the third in a 4-2 loss to the Stockton Heat Friday night at Stockton.
San Diego County's unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent last month despite seasonal cutbacks in leisure and hospitality jobs, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.
The San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation on Friday held an awards ceremony to recognize the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep San Diegans safe.
It has been ten years since devastating wildfires swept through San Diego, destroying thousands of structures and affecting so many lives.
From a baby tiger cub to monitor lizards and a macaw, authorities have seized dozens of animals and filed charges against 16 people as part of what they say is the largest wildlife trafficking sweep in Southern California.
Three officer-involved shootings over the past year, including the killing of a man who opened fire at a pool party at a La Jolla apartment complex, were legally justified, District Attorney Summer Stephan announced Friday.