The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of a drunken driver sentenced last year to 20 years to life in state prison for a November 2014 crash on a freeway offramp in Rosemead that left a woman dead.
In February, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support Juan Gabriel Rios’ conviction for second-degree murder stemming from the Nov. 7, 2014, crash that killed Kit Ching Leung, 58, of Temple City.
The justices wrote in their Feb. 16 ruling that Rios acknowledged spending five hours at a bar, consuming numerous alcoholic drinks and driving the Honda involved in the crash.
They also noted that video from the bar showed him drinking, that his bar bill supported his admissions, and that his “recent acquisition of a commercial driver’s license showed that he had recently been informed of the dangers of drunk driving.”
The collision occurred after Rios — who lived in Perris at the time — tried to enter the San Bernardino (10) Freeway and crashed his car into another vehicle near the Rosemead Boulevard exit.
Rios’ vehicle went down an embankment and he fled the scene after the crash. He was arrested early the following day by the California Highway Patrol.
Rios was convicted of one felony count each of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, driving with a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content causing injury and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person.
—City News Service
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