News


Driver of car that killed mother, baby in Livermore charged with murder

Debris from crash also struck, injured 2 boys ages 6 and 7

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. today.

Jones had been scheduled to be arraigned next Wednesday but prosecutors today 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."

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Franco
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

Franco is a registered user.

One morning recently I saw Livermore police with CHP technicians making measurements on Murietta Blvd at the corner of Stanley. I suppose this was part of the determination of the speed range. I also suppose the corvette was not equipped with an event data recorder that recorded vehicle speed, since this would be quite precise and not result in a range of speeds.


Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on May 22, 2015 at 10:17 am

@Franco

I read in a separate news story that police detectives were able to access the data in the Corvette's event recorder and that's where the 99 mph speed came from. The 75 to 99 mph range stated may be from independent studies based on eyewitness accounts and forensic studies.

2nd degree murder was the same crime that Cody Hall was charged with. Maybe they'll end up as cellmates at Santa Rita.


6 people like this
Posted by Sad for the family
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on May 22, 2015 at 10:21 am

Franco: read other coverage on the topic; the car's data recorder was seized with a warrant. He was travelling at 75-99 through the streets of Livermore and 35 when the airbag deployed. I hope the family is well represented and goes after him civilly. It wasn't his first DUI rodeo. 0.14% and 99mph shows reckless disregard for others. I hope the DA holds firm on the murder charges.


3 people like this
Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 23, 2015 at 5:58 am

Charged with murder, yes. But it's a long road to the jail sentence.

He is allegedly a wealthy man and, given the Spencer Freeman Smith case, I am not at all confident that he'll ever actually be be convicted of, or serve the appropriate sentence for, the most serious of the crimes with which he has been charged.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Pleasanton's home-grown "unicorn"
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,268 views

Ten Tips for Teens and Young Adults to Survive a Dysfunctional Family
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 963 views

Can You Afford Your ‘Dream School’?
By Elizabeth LaScala | 2 comments | 403 views

The Five
By Jeb Bing | 0 comments | 231 views