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Santa Rosa Man Gets 19 Years For Fatal DUI


The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office told that on Thursday, a Santa Rosa man was sentenced to more than 19 years in jail as he was the reason of the death of a passenger travelling in a Ford Explorer he was driving when he crashed into a tree in Rohnert Park while under the influence of alcohol. The accident happened in 2014.

24-year-old Rafael Prieto-Gonzalez was sentenced to 19 years and 4 months by Judge Jaime Thistlethwaite. The sentencing time period is as expected after he reached a plea deal with prosecutors in the month of February. On 28th of February 2014, Prieto-Gonzalez crashed into a tree on northbound Commerce Boulevard in Rohnert Park around 8 p.m. due to which 44-year-old Abel Acosta died.

According to prosecutors, he had taken the Ford Explorer and a wallet from a man at a Santa Rosa pool hall. He and Acosta drove the Explorer to another pool hall in Cotati and then drove to Rohnert Park together, where Prieto-Gonzalez lost control of the motor vehicle and the accident happened.

Witnesses heard Prieto-Gonzalez screaming for assistance after the accident. When they managed to pull him out of the damaged motor vehicle, he escaped from the accident scene and hid in a nearby neighborhood. He was found several blocks away from the accident spot. Police found his BAC at 0.17 percent when he was taken into custody.

Prosecutors said that Prieto-Gonzalez must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole and after being released, if he is arrested for a DUI offense, then it will be charged as felony.

“The family of the deceased victim, Abel Acosta, was satisfied with this disposition. … It holds the defendant responsible for very poor choices that resulted in tragic consequences,” said District Attorney Jill Ravitch in a statement.

News Source: www.SFBay.ca

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About the Author

Aaron Bortel is a Lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s been a Criminal Defense attorney for over 25 years whose practice is dedicated exclusively to DUI law. He has offices in Marin County and San Francisco and defends his clients in all Bay Area Courts and at DMV.