A convicted drunken driver accused of killing a woman and seriously injuring her passenger while driving under the influence in French Valley must stand trial on second-degree murder and DUI charges, a judge ruled Friday.
Elvis Eugene Tate, 60, of Winchester allegedly inflicted fatal injuries on 27-year-old Ashley Alcarez, also of Winchester, last April 8
Following a preliminary hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Paul Dickerson found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the murder count, as well as felony driving under the influence resulting in injuries and a sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegation.
Dickerson scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for March 22 and left Tate’s bail at $1 million.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Tate was at the wheel of a 2003 Mitsubishi Galant going north on Winchester Road at roughly 50 mph when he failed to stop for a red light at Benton Road about 5:30 p.m.
Officer Mike Lassig said that as the defendant approached Benton, the victim initiated a left turn in her 2016 Honda Civic from the westbound lane, intending to head south on Winchester. She was turning on a green light, Lassig said.
“(Tate) failed to stop for the red traffic signal … and the front of his vehicle collided with the (driver’s side) door of the victim’s vehicle, killing her instantly and inflicting major injuries on her passenger,” the officer said then. “After the initial collision, the vehicles continued out of control and struck two additional vehicles that were stopped in the southbound lanes of Winchester.”
Riverside County Fire Department paramedics pronounced Alcarez dead at the scene.
Her front-seat passenger, 28-year-old Anthony Lewis of Winchester, was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar. He has since recovered from his injuries.
According to Lassig, the occupants of the two stopped vehicles that were struck received attention from paramedics but declined to be taken to the hospital for further examination.
Tate was transported to Inland Valley Medical Center and treated for moderate injuries, after which he was booked into jail.
Tate, who’s being held at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside, has a 1994 DUI conviction out of Orange County and a 2011 DUI conviction out of San Diego County, according to prosecutors.
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