(BCN) — A Greenfield man with two previous DUIs was found guilty of second-degree murder Tuesday, after he killed a woman while driving under the influence of alcohol, the Monterey County District Attorney announced. Baltazar Donato, 28, drove the wrong way on U.S. Highway 101 in the San Ardo area on Feb. 2, 2021, and collided head-on with a vehicle being driven by Sabrina Lecce, 23, killing her and injuring her passenger and her dog.
According to Lecce’s obituary, she had spent the day at the beach with her boyfriend and “beloved” dog and the three were driving back when Donato’s vehicle struck them.
Donato’s blood alcohol at the time was .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit. Evidence showed that he had been going 87 miles per hour and failed to break until within .2 seconds of the collision.
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In addition to second-degree murder, Donato was found guilty of additional counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence and causing injury, driving under the influence with .08 percent and causing injury, and driving on a suspended license. The jury also found true enhancements for having two prior DUI convictions from 2012 and 2018, causing bodily injury to more than one person, and great bodily injury.
Donato is facing 15 years to life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 30.
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