VISTA (CNS) - Defense witnesses will resume their testimony Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of slamming into an SUV on Interstate 5 near Oceanside last year while driving drunk, killing a 27-year-old man.
William Vincent Romero faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of murder and other charges in the crash that killed Oscar Lopez on April 4, 2010. Closing arguments are expected Wednesday.
Romero, 44, is charged with murder, 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.
The defendant ran from the crash scene but was arrested a short time later near San Onofre State Beach, according to the CHP. His blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.10 after the accident, said Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco.
Greco 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 the prosecutor.
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The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office is asking for the public’s help to identify a woman, possibly in her late teens, killed by a hit-and-run driver as she walked along state Route 94 earlier this month.
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