A Pismo Beach, California resident was charged with murder after driving his car off a highway and killing two tourists in the process. Twenty-year-old Jerardo Iriarte admitted to local law enforcement agents that he deliberately drove his Toyota Corolla off Highway 101 at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour and ran it down an embankment in Pismo Beach earlier this month in an attempt to get the attention of his ex-girlfriend, who worked at a restaurant just off the highway. Two tourists, Bruce and Marjorie Mallin, who were visiting from Washington, unfortunately happened to be on a morning walk just outside the restaurant when Iriarte's car struck and killed them both. A judge ruled Wednesday that there was, indeed, enough evidence to bring Iriarte to trial, and he will be charged with two counts each of second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. No date has yet been set as to when Iriarte's trial will begin. In addition, police reports have not mentioned whether or not Iriarte was driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol at the time. As any experienced Torrance criminal defense attorney can tell you, people commit crimes for very silly reasons sometimes. In Iriarte's case, he was not actually intending to involve or hurt anyone else in his ill-advised grasp for attention, but his dangerous and reckless behavior had tragic consequences. That same experienced Torrance criminal defense attorney can also tell you that charges of murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence are very serious and have the potential to put you in a California state prison for several years. While the end result of murder charges is always the death of another person, there are actually varying degrees of severity for murder charges. As a skilled Torrance criminal defense attorney can tell you, murder charges are typically classified as either first-degree or second-degree murder and voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Both first-degree and second-degree murder charges imply willful, deliberate action to take the life of another person. Where they differ is in whether or not the crime was premeditated and planned our, or if it was more spur-of-the-moment, and can land you in prison for anywhere from 15 years to life in prison, depending on the case. Manslaughter is a somewhat "lesser" category of murder charges. Voluntary manslaughter involves deliberate action, but is usually associated with a legally acceptable provocation such as self-defense and can send you to a state prison for three to 11 years. Involuntary manslaughter, as a Torrance criminal defense attorney can explain, is the unintentional killing of another person as a result of reckless or negligent behavior, or the killing of another person during the commission of a lower-level crime. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, you could find yourself in either a state prison or county jail for anywhere from one to four years. If you are dealing with murder charges of any type, call the Torrance criminal defense attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today at 1-877-781-1570 to speak to a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney about your case. Continue reading "Iriarte Charged with Murder"
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