ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
Case # 15CF0864
Date: April 23, 2015
SANTA ANA – A drunken driver was charged today for crashing and rolling vehicle several times ejecting his 16-year-old passenger who died at the scene. Antonio Jesus Escamilla, 21, was charged today with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. The defendant is scheduled for pre-trial on May 28, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 1:40 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2013, Escamilla is accused of driving a Honda Civic while under the influence of alcohol, traveling southbound on Santiago Canyon Road, north of Silverado Canyon Road in unincorporated Orange County. The defendant is accused of having three other passengers in his vehicle at the time, including 16-year-old Marie Johnson who was sitting in the right rear passenger seat.
Escamilla is accused of following another car in front of him and driving approximately 65 to 70 mph in a 55 mph speed limit zone. He is accused of losing control of his vehicle and crossing the double yellow lines, driving southbound in the northbound lanes, and entering a dirt embankment on the east side of the roadway. The defendant is accused of driving off the roadway and rolling the vehicle several times causing Johnson to be ejected from the vehicle. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.
Escamilla is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .13 percent approximately one and a half hours after the crash.
The California Highway Patrol investigated this case.
Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff