Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Murder charge filed in Laguna Niguel drunk driving case

May 24, 2011 |  7:17 pm

An Orange County man accused of killing a pedestrian and injuring two others in a February car crash has been charged with murder and driving under the influence, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Adam Harrison Hall, 27, of Placentia had two previous DUI convictions and was on probation at the time of the Feb. 13 crash, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Authorities say Hall’s SUV crashed into a Toyota after he drove through a red light at the intersection of Moulton Parkway and Nueva Vista Drive in Laguna Niguel. The collision caused Hall to lose control of the vehicle, driving it onto a sidewalk where it struck and killed Mara Lynnes Steves, 48. Two occupants of the Toyota were injured in the crash as well. Hall is also accused of hitting a dog that Steves was holding.

Prosecutors allege that Hall was under the influence of more than half a dozen drugs at the time of the crash, including methamphetamine, Diazepam, Nordiazepam, Alprazolam, Hydroxyalprazolam, Oxazepam, Temazepam and morphine.

Hall had been arrested for driving under the influence1 in October 2007 and May 2008 and pleaded guilty in both cases, according to the D.A. After the second plea he was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years' probation. He was also ordered to complete a 180-day drug and alcohol program and an 18-month multiple offender alcohol program.

Susan Kang Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said Hall’s previous convictions were a factor in the decision to seek a murder conviction.

“He was aware of the consequences,” she said. “He had just received education that what he did could result in murder.”

Hall is being held on $1-million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Santa Ana. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 21 years to life in prison.


Death penalty sought for businessman convicted in fatal stabbing of estranged wife

Board of Education officially cancels community elections over school-reform plans

Prosecutors file additional charge in case of slain NBCUniversal executive

-- Sam Allen