|For Immediate Release
Case # 10ZF0082
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRIVER UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND COCAINE SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING MOTORIST IN 100 MPH
TOLL ROAD CRASH
SANTA ANA – A driver under the influence of alcohol and cocaine was sentenced today to four years in state prison by the Honorable Robert Fitzgerald for killing another motorist by crashing into the victim’s car while speeding over 100 mph on the toll road. Richard Ernest Caselli, 38, Ladera Ranch, pleaded guilty to the court May 11, 2010, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated. The People argued for the maximum sentence allowable by law in this case, 10 years in state prison, based on the severity of the defendant’s conduct including his excessive driving speed, alcohol intoxication over twice the legal limit, and the presence of cocaine in his system.
At approximately 6:25 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2009, Caselli was speeding over 100 mph on State Route 73 in his Volvo sedan. The defendant was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine as he drove at a high rate of speed just north of Laguna Canyon Road. Caselli lost control of his car and crashed 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 displayed objective signs of intoxication including bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, and omitting an odor of alcohol. Approximately an hour and a half after the crash, Caselli had a blood alcohol level of .18 percent, more than twice the legal limit. The defendant also tested positive for cocaine.
At the time of the defendant’s guilty plea, the family and friends of Boynton made victim impact statements to the court expressing how much they loved and missed the victim. Boynton’s mother and two sisters explained that the victim was the rock and glue of their family and now there was a huge void that can never be filled.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.