It took a jury less than an hour to convict a man of drunk driving in a Pomona crash that reached speeds of 127 miles per hour and claimed the life of a 32-year-old woman, shortly after police tried to stop him for a traffic violation, officials announced Thursday.
Michael Daniel Gardner, 39, was found guilty of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving or taking a vehicle without consent, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle causing serious bodily injury and driving when privilege suspended or revoked for a previous DUI conviction, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a released statement.
On May 7, 2015 prosecutors say Gardner had a .27 percent blood alcohol content level while behind the wheel of a car he stole from his neighbor. When he reached the area of West Arrow Highway and Mariposa Street, he struck a car being driven by 32-year-old Marissa Leigh Vasquez, prosecutors said.
Shortly before the deadly crash, prosecutors say Gardner evaded police officers who tried to stop him for a traffic violation.
Gardner ran away from the scene and did not help to render aid to Vasquez, Claremont police reported at the time of the deadly crash.
Vasquez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gardner is scheduled to be sentenced June 19. He faces at least 15 years to life in state prison.