By Teri Figueroa – The San Diego Union-Tribune
A man who was on probation for drunken driving when he slammed into a motorcyclist in a fatal wrong-way crash in Fallbrook in 2019 was found guilty this week of second-degree murder.
Adam Barooshian’s conviction Monday came at his second Vista Superior Court jury trial in the New Year’s Day crash in Fallbrook that killed 29-year-old Christopher Williams, a father of two on his way home from work.
At Barooshian’s first trial in early 2020, the jury convicted him of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated but deadlocked 9-3 in favor of guilt on the second-degree murder charge.
The manslaughter conviction meant he faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A second-degree murder conviction would carry a sentence of 15 years to life. Prosecutors decided to retry Barooshian, now 29, on the murder charge.
Superior Court Judge Brad Weinreb is slated to sentence Barooshian on Aug. 25 in Vista.
At the time of the crash, Barooshian was a 25-year-old Camp Pendleton Marine. He was also on probation for drunken driving — a month before the fatal crash, he’d pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge for a September 2018 arrest in San Diego.
That conviction prompted prosecutors to bring the second-degree murder charge in the crash that killed Williams.
About 4 a.m. on Jan. 1, Williams was headed home from his job as part of the Security-EMT unit at Casino Pauma when he was struck. The crash happened on state Route 76 near Via Monserate in Fallbrook.
Deputy District Attorney David Uyar, said Barooshian was driving the wrong way down the highway, driving east in the westbound lanes when his Lexus IS 300 slammed head-on into Williams’ motorcycle.
Williams, who was married to an Oceanside police 911 dispatcher, died at the scene. The couple’s sons were ages 5 and 8 when their father died.
Uyar said Barooshian’s blood alcohol content was .18 percent about five hours after the crash. Drivers in California are considered impaired if their blood-alcohol content measures .08 percent or more.
About a week after the crash, Barooshian received an other-than-honorable discharge from military, according to the Marine Corps.
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Source: American Military News