LIVERMORE (CBS SF) — An alleged drunk driver was charged with two counts of murder Thursday for the deaths of a mother and her baby in a crash in Livermore earlier this month.
Prosecutors and Livermore police allege that 35-year-old Brian Jones of Livermore lost control of his car while driving under the influence of alcohol and crashed into an apartment complex in the 900 block of Murrieta Boulevard just before 6:50 p.m. on May 2.
The collision killed 46-year-old Esperanza Morales-Rodriguez of Seaside and her 14-month-old daughter, Ulidia Perez-Morales, both of whom were declared dead at the scene.
Police said debris from the crash also struck two boys ages 6 and 7, who were taken to a hospital for treatment.
Jones had been free on $350,000 bail but Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a news release that Livermore police arrested him without incident at a home in Livermore at about 4 p.m. Thursday.
Jones had been scheduled to be arraigned next Wednesday but prosecutors Thursday said his arraignment probably will be moved to an earlier date because he’s now in custody.
O’Malley said that in addition to the two murder counts, Jones faces two counts of felony driving under the influence of alcohol, causing injury, as well as multiple victim and excessive speed clauses.
Livermore police said Jones had attended the Livermore Wine Country Festival before the collision. O’Malley said his blood alcohol content was determined to be 0.14 percent, well above the legal limit for drinking and driving.
O’Malley said Jones was under the influence of alcohol as he drove his car at speeds ranging from 75 mph to 99 mph through residential streets in Livermore.
O’Malley said in a statement, “Esperanza Morales-Rodriguez and her baby daughter lost their lives while visiting family members in Livermore. A joyous occasion turned into a nightmare that has devastated a family and stunned the community.”
She said, “My office will ensure that justice is served and that Brian Jones is held accountable for his actions.”
Livermore police Officer David Boyes wrote in a probable cause statement that Jones had a prior arrest for allegedly driving while intoxicated and pleaded to a reckless driving charge in that case.
Boyes said, “Based on my investigation, I believe Jones intentionally drove his vehicle at an extremely high speed while his blood alcohol level was over 0.08 (the legal limit) and knew or should have known that his actions were likely to result in the death of another person.”
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