Jury Convicts Hit-and-Run Driver of Murder
A Sacramento jury found Paul William Walden guilty of murder in connection with the 2012 crash that killed a 21-year-old man as well as his four dogs, according to reports. Walden, a North Highlands native, was also found guilty of other charges such as hit-and-run with bodily harm, DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.
Walden struck Harison Long-Randall as he was walking with his girlfriend, Gemily West, and their dogs on Garfield Avenue and Eagle Road in Carmichael. West was injured but survived. She claims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident.
Walden had been convicted of DUI three previous times before the accident that killed Long-Randall. The 32-year-old says he does not remember what happened because he had fallen asleep at the wheel. He does admit he did not stop to check on the victims. Long-Randall was hospitalized for two weeks and had his leg amputated before succumbing to his injuries.
When questioned about his motive for leaving the scene, he said that he “didn’t like to be around police” and was in “panic mode.” “I was selfish in my thinking,” said Walden. He said that he was a “professional drug addict” and had spent years on all types of drugs including marijuana, methamphetamines, OxyContin and cocaine.
DUI Leads To More Serious Charges
A driver who causes and accident with injuries to another person already faces serious criminal and civil repercussions. However, if that driver is under the influence at the time of the crash, it is very likely that he or she will face even stiffer penalties.
The presence of alcohol or drugs in the bloodstream is usually enough to elevate criminal charges in California when someone injures another person. In addition, the driver may be charged with multiple crimes instead of a single crime.
Hit-and-run accidents similarly add severity to a traffic charge. In California, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries elevates charges to felony status, even if the victim survives.
Criminal Representation is Important
If you have been charged with hit-and-run, DUI or any other criminal activity, it is very important that you seek the help of a Sacramento attorney like those at Amerio Law Firm who have experience dealing with these types of cases. Criminal charges can result in jail time and other significant penalties, so finding a good attorney is crucial. Talk to Amerio Law Firm about your case today.