A 23-year-old man was charged with murder Tuesday in an alleged drunken driving crash that killed an 18-year-old man and injured five others.
Herbert Granados Calderon faces one count of second-degree murder and two felony counts of driving under the influence of alcohol in a crash that caused injury, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker. He also is charged with two sentence enhancements of inflicting great bodily harm.
Roberto Rubio died on the spot after Saturday’s 9:23 p.m. accident at Bristol Street and Central Avenue in Santa Ana, and five other people were taken to hospitals. Three suffered serious injuries, authorities said.
Calderon pleaded not guilty and was ordered to return to court Nov. 14 for a pretrial hearing.
Calderon faces a stiffer charge than vehicular manslaughter, which carries a lesser punishment, because he has a conviction for drunken driving. He has been convicted multiple times of driving on a suspended or revoked license, according to court records.
A defendant convicted of manslaughter does not have to win parole to be released. A second-degree murder charge carries a 15-year-to-life sentence.
As recently as Oct. 16, Calderon pleaded guilty to driving on a revoked or suspended license and was given 45 days in jail, but the sentence was suspended, according to Orange County Superior Court records.
It was the third time since last year he has pleaded guilty to the same charge, according to court records. He was convicted on June 18, 2013, of driving under the influence and on a suspended license, according to court records.
That case stems from his arrest on Feb. 2, 2012, and for that guilty plea he was sentenced to a few days in jail, three years of probation and ordered to appear before a Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel in which victims tell offenders how drunk driving affected their lives, according to court records
Calderon, previously held in lieu of $100,000 bail, had his revoked because of his DUI conviction, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
Calderon was first taken to a hospital, then jail.
A Lexus driven by Calderon was going south on Bristol Street when it ran a red light at Central and broadsided a Honda, in which Rubio was a passenger. The impact caused the Honda to strike a Chevrolet pickup truck, police said.
— City News Service