SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An Aug. 16 trial date was set Wednesday for a Yuma-based Marine accused of driving drunk and causing a rollover accident that killed a fellow Marine on a Mission Valley freeway interchange.
Ashley Louise Maya, who is free on $50,000 bail, pleaded not guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury and driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher. She faces more than 10 years in state prison if convicted.
Testifying at the defendant's preliminary hearing earlier this month, California Highway Patrol Officer Brad Clinkscales said surveillance video at a San Diego nightclub showed the 21-year-old defendant drinking alcohol hours before the fatal crash, which happened about 3:15 a.m. last Feb. 12.
According to testimony, Maya's friend, Cpl. Pedro Conceicao, took away her car keys as they left the club, but she punched him three times and got them back. Both were stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
Prosecutor Jim Waters said Maya drove off with a car door open before coming back to pick up two other passengers. Once on northbound state Route 163, front-seat passenger Bryan Salcido said he yelled at Maya twice to slow down.
Salcido testified that Maya was traveling about 90 miles per hour when she tried to negotiate a sharp turn onto eastbound Interstate 8 and lost control of her 2007 Chevrolet HHR, which rolled over, ejecting back-seat passengers Conceicao and Vasty Castillo.
Conceicao, 24, died at the scene and Castillo, 25, suffered a broken back and other serious injuries. Neither was wearing a seatbelt, according to court testimony.
Salcido was not seriously injured in the crash. Maya was hospitalized and booked into jail two days after the accident.
Waters said the defendant's blood-alcohol level was measured at .12 percent about 90 minutes after the accident.
Maya cannot drive while the case is pending and is confined to the Marine base in Yuma.
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