A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld a former Duarte resident’s conviction on murder and other charges stemming from an alcohol-fueled crash that killed a woman in September 2011.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that the trial court committed prejudicial error by refusing to give jurors an instruction on unconsciousness in the case of William Jose Segura.
In a nine-page ruling, the appellate court justices found that there was no evidence that such an instruction applied in Segura’s case.
“Segura consumed alcohol at a restaurant despite assuring the bartenders that he would return home in a taxi,” then drove to a club and consumed more alcohol, the appellate court panel noted. “He then drove toward his home at an excessive speed. Following the collision, he fled, reflecting his consciousness of guilt.”
Segura — who had three prior DUI convictions and a fourth DUI arrest — was found guilty of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and fleeing the scene of the Sept. 16, 2011, crash that killed Lisa Marie Mireles, 42.
Segura drove through two red traffic lights, rear-ending Mireles’ vehicle at Huntington Drive and Mountain Avenue, with the impact of the crash causing her vehicle to jump the curb and wrap around a tree.
Segura fled the scene on foot, but was arrested later at his home.
The appellate court justices noted that hospital laboratory tests performed that evening revealed that he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.28 percent — more than three times the legal limit — and that he had said at the hospital that he “shouldn’t be drinking and driving.”
An analysis on the event data recorder in the Lexus sedan that he had been driving revealed that he had been traveling at more than 63 mph at the time of the crash, according to the appellate court panel’s ruling.
Segura was sentenced in January 2015 to 20 years to life in state prison.
— Wire reports
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