For Immediate Release
February 27, 2014
Susan Kang Schroeder
FLEEING DRUNKEN PAROLEE CONVICTED OF MURDERING INNOCENT DRIVER AND INJURING TWO WHILE RECKLESSLY EVADING POLICE IN HIS TRUCK
WESTMINSTER – A fleeing parolee driving under the influence of alcohol was convicted today of killing an innocent driver and causing great bodily injury to two people while recklessly running from the police. Oscar Javier de la Torre Villalobos, 27, Menifee, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count each of second degree murder, driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of over .08 percent causing bodily injury, and evading the police while driving recklessly and causing serious bodily injury and death. The sentencing enhancement allegations for personally inflicting great bodily injury on non-accomplice victims, driving with a blood alcohol content over .20 percent, and two prior prison convictions of possessing a firearm as a felon and felony domestic violence were found true. He faces a maximum sentence of 21 years and four months to life in state prison at his sentencing May 2, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. in Department W-9, West Justice Center, Westminster.
At approximately 7:40 p.m. on June 15, 2009, Villalobos was driving a red 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck in Anaheim. His passenger, 22-year-old Alejandro Serrano, exited the truck after getting into a verbal and shoving dispute with a man on the sidewalk. Following the dispute, Villalobos and Serrano drove to a nearby Home Depot parking lot.
Within minutes, Anaheim Police Department (APD) officers located the pick-up truck in the Home Depot parking lot and began to approach the vehicle to question them about the incident. The Home Depot was open at this time and there were parked vehicles, moving vehicles, and customers going in and out of the store. Villalobos looked at one of the officers, started the engine, and refused to comply with the APD officer’s command to turn off the engine. Villalobos then sped off, spinning and squealing the tires, and led the police on a high-speed pursuit. APD officers driving in two fully marked black and white police vehicles, with activated sirens and lights, began following the defendant’s truck. Three other police vehicles later responded to assist in the pursuit.
Villalobos drove out of the parking lot going eastbound on Gramercy Avenue and nearly collided with two other vehicles. While fleeing from police, Villalobos drove through multiple stop signs, weaved in and out of traffic, and nearly collided with several vehicles and pedestrians. He drove approximately 90 mph on Crescent Avenue, which has a 40 mph speed limit.
At about 7:44 p.m., Villalobos crashed his truck into another vehicle while running a red light at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Crescent Avenue in Anaheim. Several vehicles were involved in this collision as a result of the initial impact. Victim 49-year-old Orlando Botello was the driver of one of the cars involved in this collision. He died at the scene. Villalobos caused multiple blunt force trauma injuries to the victim’s head and caused his death. Victim 23-year-old Carlos Butrus was driving another vehicle. The defendant caused Butrus’ injuries including a broken pelvis, broken ribs, broken shoulder, and ruptured bladder. Butrus required two years of rehabilitative care to recover from his injuries. Serrano, the passenger in the defendant’s car, suffered multiple facial fractures, fractures to his left arm, burns, and required one year of rehabilitative care to recover from his injuries. Both surviving victims suffered major injuries that neither one will fully recover from.
Villalobos had a blood alcohol content of .26 percent, over three times the legal limit. At the time of the arrest, he was on parole in Riverside County.
APD investigated this case.Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.