Man accused of deadly DUI in Pala will stand trial - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man accused of deadly DUI in Pala will stand trial

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VISTA (CNS) - A motorist accused of driving drunk and causing a head-on collision near Pala that killed the other driver, then fleeing the scene, was ordered Thursday to stand trial.

Garrett James Gelrud, 34, faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury.

The charges stem from the death last Aug. 5 of Juan Corza Gonzalez, a 62- year-old North County rancher.

Authorities said Gonzalez was driving on Old Highway 395 near Bonsall about 5:30 a.m. when Gelrud -- driving a Chevrolet Suburban -- allegedly crossed the double yellow lines just north of Lilac Road and smashed into the victim's Nissan Versa.

Gelrud allegedly fled the scene on foot but was arrested later in the morning.

According to evidence produced at a two-day preliminary hearing, Gelrud's blood was drawn nearly four hours after the fatal crash and the result was .06 percent for alcohol, positive for marijuana and above a therapeutic dosage of Valium.

Chelsea Carter, of the San Diego Sheriff's Crime Lab, testified that Gelrud's blood-alcohol level would have been between .11 and 12 percent at the time of the collision.

The defendant is also charged in connection with a hit-and-run incident on July 1 of last year, said Deputy District Attorney Aimee McLeod.

Gelrud will be back in court March 16 for a readiness conference. Trial was set for May 17.

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