A Southern California man was convicted of second-degree murder on Wednesday for fatally working down an off-duty hearth captain in Mission Viejo, California, whereas beneath the affect of drugs in November 2018.
Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 28, was on methamphetamine, fentanyl, downers and stimulants when he misplaced consciousness, drove up on the sidewalk and struck Costa Mesa Fireplace Division Captain Mike Kreza, 44, who was out for a Saturday morning bike experience alongside the Alicia Parkway in Orange County, Metropolis Information Service reported, citing prosecutors.
Kreza, a father of three and an 18-year veteran of the division, died after two days within the hospital.
“The sufferer on this case mattered,” District Lawyer Todd Spitzer mentioned in a press release after Scarpa’s conviction, in line with the Orange County Register. “He mattered to his family members, his co-workers on the Costa Mesa Fireplace Division, the group he served, and he mattered to the Orange County District Lawyer’s Workplace. Mike Kreza isn’t a statistic. He was a husband and he was a father to 3 little ladies who need to develop up with out him. No little one ought to need to be informed that their daddy isn’t coming residence due to the egocentric determination of somebody to get behind the wheel whereas beneath the affect.”
Scarpa was charged with homicide relatively than a lesser cost like vehicular manslaughter due to the “implied malice” in what the prosecution known as his reckless disregard for human life, in line with the newspaper.
“In the event you get so excessive you move out behind the wheel and kill somebody, you find yourself precisely the place Mr. Scarpa is sitting,” Senior Deputy District Lawyer Dan Feldman mentioned through the trial, describing Scarpa as having a “drug cupboard” in his system, the news service reported.
The prosecution mentioned Scarpa ought to have identified higher as a result of he beforehand labored at a drug rehabilitation heart earlier than shedding his job as a consequence of a relapse, the Register reported.
The protection portrayed the crash as a “tragic accident” and argued he believed he was OK to drive again to the grandparent’s home the place he lived. Scarpa had been partying for 3 days when he determined to drive residence.
“What occurred occurred in a break up second in time,” protection legal professional Rudy Loewenstein mentioned. “He fell asleep for a fraction of a second.” He known as the crash a “excellent storm of occasions.”
The jury reached the decision after two days of deliberations.
Scarpa faces 15 years to life in jail. His sentencing is about for December.