|For Immediate Release
Case # 09ZF0061
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRUNKEN DRIVER FACES TRIAL FOR KILLING THREE AND CRITICALLY INJURING A FOURTH, INCLUDING ANGELS BASEBALL PITCHER
SANTA ANA – A drunken driver under the influence of alcohol faces trial tomorrow for killing three people, including a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball player, and injuring a fourth victim in an early morning car crash. Andrew Thomas Gallo, 22, San Gabriel, was indicted by the grand jury May 27, 2009, on three felony counts of murder, one felony count of fleeing the scene of a traffic collision involving death or permanent injury, one felony count of driving under the influence causing injury, and one felony count of driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol causing injury. He faces sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury. Gallo has a prior San Bernardino County conviction for driving under the influence in 2006 and was on probation for this conviction at the time of the crash.
If convicted on all counts, Gallo faces a maximum sentence of 54 years and eight months to life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 12:23 a.m. on April 9, 2009, Gallo is accused of speeding in a minivan at approximately 65 mph in a 35 mph zone while under the influence of alcohol, on probation, and driving on a suspended driver’s license. The defendant’s license had been suspended due to a prior conviction for driving under the influence. Gallo’s 21-year-old step-brother was the passenger in the minivan. Gallo is accused of driving eastbound on Orangethorpe Avenue in Fullerton and running through a red light, crashing into a Mitsubishi that was legally passing through the intersection and pushing it into a third car. The driver of the third car sustained minimal injuries with moderate damage to his car.
Gallo is accused of murdering three people in the crash and seriously injuring a fourth. The three murdered victims include 22-year-old Nicholas Adenhart, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim playing in his fifth professional season, 20-year-old Courtney Stewart, a student and former Titans cheerleader at California State University, Fullerton, and 25-year-old Henry Pearson, a law student working toward becoming a sports agent. The fourth victim, 24-year-old Jon Wilhite, a former player for the Titans baseball team, was critically injured. He is now in stable condition.
After crashing into the victims’ car, Gallo is accused of fleeing the scene on foot. He was arrested less than 30 minutes later approximately two miles away on the shoulder of State Route 91 by officers from the Anaheim Police Department. When contacted by officers, Gallo is accused of attempting to flee again and run from the police. Two hours after the crash, Gallo is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .19 percent.
As a result of the defendant’s 2006 conviction for driving under the influence, he was required to participate in court ordered alcohol awareness classes, during which he was informed of the dangers of drinking and driving and told that driving while intoxicated could result in the death of himself or others.
The Fullerton Police Department investigated this case. Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.