Marin man gets 15 years to life for DUI death

June 18, 2009 1:29:26 PM PDT
An Inverness man was sentenced in Marin County Superior Court today to two 15-years-to-life prison terms for second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in connection with a crash that killed a 16-year-old boy about two years ago.

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Deputy District Attorney Murat Ozgur said 34-year-old Gerardo Ramirez Larios received the maximum term following his conviction in April. The life term for vehicular manslaughter will be stayed because it is for the same offense, Ozgur said.

Larios also was sentenced to a year in the Marin County jail for driving on a suspended license but got credit for that time served while waiting for his trial, Ozgur said.

A Marin County Superior Court jury deliberated two days before returning the guilty verdicts, Ozgur said. An earlier trial on the charges ended in a hung jury in December.

Larios has three prior DUI convictions, Ozgur said.

The victim's stepfather Gary Blevins and mother Andrea Baker asked Judge Kelly Simmons to impose the maximum term, Ozgur said.

"They call it an accident but this was no accident. He murdered a 16-year-old boy," Ozgur said.

Larios was arrested in connection with the crash that killed Richard Teague of Point Reyes, a passenger who was in his 1988 Chevrolet pickup.

The crash happened June 12, 2007, on state Highway 1 between Olema and Point Reyes Station, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The truck went off the road and struck a power pole, and neither Larios nor Teague was wearing a seatbelt, according to the CHP. Teague was pronounced dead at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Larios suffered moderate injuries.

The defense at both trials questioned whether Larios was actually at the wheel of the truck. Ozgur said the jury rejected the defense's argument that Teague was driving.

Larios still faces felony charges of tampering with evidence, dissuading a witness and conspiracy to tamper or destroy evidence, Ozgur said.

Nacole Borg Von Gehr, 29, and Rose Freeman, 36, also are charged with conspiracy to tamper with evidence and being an accessory after a murder, Ozgur said.

Larios will appear before Judge Paul Haakenson Thursday to have a trial date set on those charges, Ozgur said.

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