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Driver indicted in death of Angels pitcher and two others

May 27, 2009 |  6:22 pm

Adenhart A suspected drunk driver was indicted Wednesday on murder charges in a car crash that killed three people, including Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, and critically injured a fourth last month in Fullerton.

An Orange County grand jury indicted Andrew Thomas Gallo, 22, of San Gabriel on three counts of murder, hit-and-run and drunk driving in connection with the April 9 accident, which happened hours after the 22-year-old baseball player had pitched one of his best major league games.

Gallo is accused of having a blood alcohol content of .19 -- more than twice the legal limit.

He allegedly ran a red light and broadsided the car driven by Courtney Stewart, 20.  Stewart was killed, along with Adenhart and Henry Pearson, a 25-year-old Manhattan Beach law student. Another passenger, Jon Wilhite, 24, of Manhattan Beach, was injured.

The charges are identical to those filed by the District Attorney two days after the accident, but the indictment allows prosecutors to take the case to trial more quickly.

“The idea is to move the case along and keep it from being delayed,” said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

Gallo is being held at the Orange County Jail on $2-million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in court June 8. If convicted on all counts, he could face 54 years and eight months to life in prison.

-- Tony Barboza 

Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times