An alleged drunken driver was indicted today for killing another motorist by crashing into the victim's car while speeding over 100 mph on the toll road. Richard Ernest Caselli, 37, Ladera Ranch, was indicted by the grand jury on one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison if convicted. The defendant is out of custody on $150,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Friday, March 19, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office sent a press release on Oct. 19, 2009, with the following information regarding this case: At approximately 6:25 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2009, Caselli is accused of speeding over 100 mph on State Route 73 in his Volvo sedan. The defendant is accused of being under the influence of alcohol as he drove at a high rate of speed just north of Laguna Canyon Road. Caselli is accused of losing control of his car and crashing into a Nissan sport utility vehicle driven by 51-year-old Brook Boynton. The force of the crash caused the victim's car to spin out of control and roll, ejecting Boynton onto the right shoulder. The victim was killed as a result of his injuries.
Caselli's vehicle also came to a stop. When contacted by police at the scene, Caselli is accused of displaying objective signs of intoxication including bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, and omitting an odor of alcohol.
Interestingly, they did not release the BAC results as they usually do. Moreover, they proceeded by indictment, another sign that this may not be the strongest case for the DA. In any event, it will be interesting to follow.