Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

Attorneys will make opening statements Tuesday in the trial of a 24-year-old man charged with second-degree murder for allegedly driving under the influence of heroin and causing a Newport Beach collision that killed a bicyclist last fall.

Neil Storm Stephany is accused in the Oct. 19 death of 30-year-old Shaun Eagleson of Fountain Valley, who was riding a bicycle on East Coast Highway when he was struck by the defendant’s Toyota Tacoma, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker.

Stephany had intended to check into a rehabilitation facility the following day, the prosecutor said. Before the deadly collision, the defendant was twice warned that if he drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he would face a murder charge, Walker alleged.

Stephany would typically have faced a manslaughter charge, but has a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years to life in prison.

Stephany pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence on Oct. 4, 2011, and was sentenced to a two-day jail term and placed on three years of informal probation.

On Aug. 6, 2013, Stephany pleaded guilty to assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, and was immediately sentenced to 180 days in jail and placed on three years of formal probation. He was also ordered to participate in a drug or alcohol program.

— City News Service

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