Old Coot From the 909 Stands Trial For Driving Drunk, Killing a Woman and Injuring Her Son
According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, the 71-year-old San Bernardino man "faces a maximum sentence of seven years and eight in state prison if convicted" of downing vodka and slamming his car into that of Tamiko Kaminaga, 60, and injuring her 17-year-old son Jorge Maresch, near a parking lot in Orange.
Opening statements in his trial are expected to begin today at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, as Butler is charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter by lawful act that might cause death without gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.
At around 5 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2010, Butler allegedly crashed into Kaminaga's vehicle after he failed to stop or slow as she made a legal left turn.
Kaminaga was transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana and died a short time later due to blunt force trauma, according to the District Attorney's office. Maresch suffered a broken nose and facial lacerations.
When Orange police officers arrived, Butler was allegedly spotted sitting near his vehicle, slurring his speech, with his eyes red and watery. He is accused of possessing an open bottle of vodka in his vehicle and having a blood alcohol level of .22 percent.