Lady Justice 3 16-9

A Calimesa Harley biker who killed his passenger wife when he slammed his motorcycle into the back of a car while speeding and drunk on a San Jacinto road is slated to be sentenced Monday to six years in state prison.

John Francis Fults, 61, pleaded guilty on Jan. 25 to gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence for the 2014 death of 52-year-old Pamela Fults.

As part of his plea deal with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, in exchange for admitting the manslaughter count, prosecutors agreed to drop a second-degree murder charge against Fults, free on a $1 million bond.

According to sheriff’s officials, on the night of Dec. 20, 2014, the defendant and his wife had been drinking at a San Jacinto pub and left about 12:45 a.m. to head home to Calimesa. Fults was driving his Harley-Davidson northbound on State Street, at a speed one witness stated was well over the 45 mph limit, Deputy Joseph Cristinziani wrote in a June 2015 arrest warrant affidavit.

As Fults approached Seventh Street, he failed to see a Honda sedan stopped in front of him for pedestrians and slammed into the back of it, catapulting himself and Pam Fults into the intersection. She suffered severe head trauma and died a short time later. He suffered major injuries but eventually recovered, according to court papers.

The woman at the wheel of the Honda was not hurt.

Cristinziani said that Fults’ blood-alcohol level was .18 — more than twice the legal limit to operate a vehicle — and he admitted drinking “whiskey” prior to the wreck.

Prosecutors filed a DUI murder charge against the defendant because, only seven months earlier, he had been involved in an unrelated alcohol-fueled crash on the same motorcycle, according to the affidavit and criminal complaint.

That case was pending at the time of the fatal collision, and Fults has since pleaded guilty. He’s expected to be sentenced for that offense, too, on Monday.

Pam Fults’ younger sister, Karen Aceves, is slated to speak out against the plea agreement during the sentencing hearing, arguing that Fults is getting off too lightly.

She told City News Service her family was not notified prior to the agreement being consummated, and there are a number of unanswered questions pertaining to the investigation.

–City News Service

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