|For Immediate Release
Case # 09ZF0061
December 22, 2010
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO 51 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING THREE AND
CRITICALLY INJURING A FOURTH,
INCLUDING ANGELS BASEBALL PITCHER
SANTA ANA – A drunken driver was sentenced today to 51 years to life in state prison for murdering 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, 23, San Gabriel, was found guilty by a jury Sept. 27, 2010, of 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. The sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury against Jon Wilhite were found true. 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.
“Before drinking, set up a plan to have a sober driver. If you make the decision to drink and drive, we will make the decision to charge you with vehicular manslaughter or murder and you may spend the rest of your life in prison. During this holiday season, think about the pain on the victims’ families’ faces before you drink and drive,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “I formed the Vehicular Homicide Team in 2008 to deal with this serious problem. Since then, we have obtained 49 vehicular death convictions, 13 of which were second degree murders and serving life sentences.”
At approximately 12:23 a.m. on April 9, 2009, Gallo was 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 of alcohol. Gallo’s 21-year-old step-brother was the passenger in the minivan. Gallo was driving eastbound on Orangethorpe Avenue in Fullerton and ran through a red light, crashing into a Mitsubishi that was legally passing through the intersection, pushing it into a third car. The driver of the third car sustained minimal injuries with moderate damage to his car.
Gallo murdered three people in the crash and seriously injured 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 fled 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 attempted to flee again and run from the police. Two hours after the crash, Gallo had a blood alcohol level of .19 percent.