Opening statements in Oceanside fatal DUI trial - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Opening statements in Oceanside fatal DUI trial

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VISTA (CNS) - Opening statements were delivered Thursday in the trial of a man facing murder and other charges for allegedly driving drunk and slamming into an SUV on Interstate 5 near Oceanside, killing a 27-year-old man.

William Vincent Romero faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted in the crash that killed Oscar Lopez on April 4, 2010. Testimony will resume Monday in courtroom of Vista Judge K. Michael Kirkman.

In addition to murder, Romero is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving with a measurable blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher, DUI causing injury, and hit-and-run causing death.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Romero was driving his 1993 Chevrolet Camaro on I-5 south of Basilone Road when the car drifted into another lane just after midnight and crashed into a 2004 Ford Explorer.

Lopez, who was in the back of the SUV getting some sleep before his 2 a.m. shift at a fish company, was thrown from the vehicle and killed. His 5-year-old son, Oscar Jr., was also ejected but escaped serious injury, investigators said.

Romero, 44, ran from the crash scene but was arrested a short time later near San Onofre State Beach, according to the CHP. The defendant's blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.10 after the crash, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco said.

The prosecutor also said Romero was convicted of child abuse in 2004 and went to prison. The defendant also has felony convictions for bribery and presenting false evidence, according to Greco.

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