May 29, 2008
San Diego dui attorneys are told the woman who authorities initially believed was a passenger during a San Diego dui crash that killed two couples on state Route 76 in December was ordered to stand trial Thursday.
Deanna Fridley faces four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence, along with charges of causing bodily injury while driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license, San Diego dui attorney prosecutor Brenda Daly said.
Fridley pleaded not guilty. “We expected this, but we’re still optimistic that we can prevail at trial,” said James Boyd, her San Diego dui defense attorney. “We’ll see a different picture at the trial.”
Daly said Fridley faces up to 25 years and 8 months in prison, but Judge David Danielsen said he thinks the potential San Diego dui sentence is less than that. A San Diego dui arraignment was set for June 12.
San Diego dui lawyer sources said Fridley allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of 0.127 and methamphetamine in her system when the San Diego dui crash occurred; but a key issue is driving!
The San Diego dui crash unfortunately killed Rubi Baez, 46, and Luis Baez, 51, of Vista and Jesus De Santiago, 45, and Lina De Santiago, 46, of Escondido.
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A relative said the couples had been out for a night of dinner and slot machines.
The California Highway Patrol initially said Anthony Boles, who was in Fridley’s GMC Yukon, was behind the wheel when it collided head-on with a Toyota Camry carrying the four victims. More than a month after the San Diego dui accident, however, the CHP changed their tune and now claim Fridley was the driver.
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Boles testified Thursday in Vista Superior Court that Fridley was behind the wheel.
A CHP officer testified that surveillance video at Pala Casino allegedly showed Fridley getting into the driver’s seat of her Yukon at 11:47 p.m., and Boles getting in the passenger’s side. A witness called to report the San Diego dui accident about three minutes later.
Boles testified Fridley was “not swerving or nothing, she was just driving fast.” She passed a car, he alleges, and lost control. He said he thought they bounced off a guardrail, and didn’t recall hitting another vehicle.
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The Santiagos are survived by a wonderful daughter and son, and the Baezes by three fine sons.