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.
A Ramona man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing tip jars from a half-dozen Poway businesses.
People who take their pets to Del Mar's dog beach wanted to know who planted the incredible garden there.
Local first-responders who put their lives on the line to help victims of the deadly Montecito mudslides were back home Thursday.
A man accused of stabbing a woman to death near an Encanto Park made his first court appearance Thursday.
The San Diego Blood Bank Thursday solicited donations through the end of the month in honor of Father Joe Carroll, who will undergo surgery Feb. 1 due to complications with diabetes.
If you need ideas to help you keep that New Year's resolution going head to Santee for an active lifestyle expo and race this Saturday.
A new construction phase begins for the Mid-Coast Trolley. The Mid-Coast Trolley is an 11-mile extension of the San Diego Trolley Blue Line with service from Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego to UC San Diego and University City.
More than 200 local restaurants are trying to impress you next week. San Diego Restaurant Week kicks off Sunday.