Man who killed friend/co-worker in drunken accident gets four years

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A motorist who was drunk on the way to work when he
fatally struck a friend and co-worker as he stood next to a parked car in Mira
Mesa was sentenced Tuesday to four years in state prison.

Matias Escobar Aguilar, 26, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a
charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Efrain Gonzales, 28, was standing next to a car in the 10900 block of
Sunny Meadow Street when he was struck by Aguilar's westbound 1993 Ford Ranger
about 6:45 a.m. on Aug. 14. The victim died at the scene.

The victim's sister, Angelica Argueta, said she looked at Gonzales as
more than a brother because he stepped in to help her after their father
abandoned the family.

“He would tell me, `Don't worry little sister,”' Argueta told Judge
Laura Halgren.

Argueta — who has five children — said she and her brother were
looking into buying a house for their family when he was killed.

Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto said Aguilar's blood-alcohol level
was 0.18 percent two-and-a-half hours after the collision, more than twice
the legal limit for driving. He was arrested at the scene.

Coto said Aguilar drank 12 regular beers and three 24-ounce beers in the
12 hours before the accident.

A half-full can of beer was in Aguilar's truck after he hit and killed
his friend, the prosecutor said.

Coto said Aguilar had been warned not to drink and drive by another
friend who saw him on a different occasion with a beer in his truck.

Defense attorney Kristin Scogin unsuccessfully argued for probation,
saying that Aguilar had no prior record and was very remorseful about what

Aguilar's fiancee, Renee Ramirez, urged the judge to grant probation so
he could help her at home because she has seizures.

“He made a mistake. He won't do that again,” the fiancee told the judge.

Categories: KUSI