Minutes ago, a Santa Ana jury found Andrew Thomas Gallo guilty of three counts second-degree murder resulting from a drunk-driving crash that killed Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others.
|Andrew Thomas Gallo|
The Orange County Register reports
that the jury found Gallo responsible in the April 9, 2009 collision in downtown Fullerton, and--in addition to the three murder counts--also convicted him of two felony drunk-driving charges and one felony count hit-and-run. He faces a potential sentence of 50 years to life in prison, according to the District Attorney's office.
Adenhart, 22, Courtney Stewart, 20; and Henry Pearson, 25, were all killed in the wreck. Another passenger in the same car as Adenhart, Jon Wilhite, then 24, was seriously injured but survived.
Gallo had been driving a mini-van at 65 miles-per-hour in a 35 miles-per-hour zone while drunk and carrying a suspended license. After striking the car carying Adenhart and others, Gallo fled on foot and was caught less than a half-hour later.
Gallo was convicted in 2006 of driving under the influence but, according to the OCDA, his main defense during this latest trial was that he "did not have specialized knowledge of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol."
Previously, lawyers for the 23-year-old Gallo tried, unsuccessfully,
to get their client's trial moved out of Orange County. In June, the Weekly's Nick Schou broke the news
that Stewart, the driver of the car that Adenhart was in, was also intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Sentencing will take place on December 10 at 9 a.m. in Santa Ana's Central Justice Center, Department C-30.