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Trial to begin for O.C. man accused of killing cyclist while drunk

June 8, 2010 |  2:49 pm

Trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday for a Garden Grove man accused of crashing his car into a bicyclist and killing her while he was under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol.

Alex Trujillo, 45, has pleaded not guilty to one felony count of murder in the death of Catherine Busse, 46, of Seal Beach while he was driving his pickup truck in October 2008.

Trujillo had a blood-alcohol level of 0.11 and was on multiple prescription drugs when he swerved off Lampson Avenue in Seal Beach at 45 mph and struck Busse, who was riding a bicycle on the sidewalk with her son, said Orange County prosecutors.

Busse was catapulted from her bike and died at the scene from blunt-force trauma to the head. Her son Samuel, then 15, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Trujillo had previously been convicted of driving under the influence in 2002, authorities said. He also attended an alcohol awareness class and a Mothers Against Drunk Driving event, where victims of drunk drivers talked about the consequences of such accidents, prosecutors said.

He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

--Tony Barboza