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Vehicular Manslaughter Charges in San Jose Street Racing Case

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Two men have been charged with vehicular manslaughter in a street racing case that resulted in the death of a young woman jogging on the same road. Manuel Maldonado was arraigned this past Wednesday and has been accused of being one of two drivers engaged the race. The other defendant has not yet been brought to court. Maldonado remains in custody at $100,000 bail and the court denied his attorney's request to release him on his own recognizance, or OR.

Vehicular Manslaughter with gross negligence is a serious felony and strike offense. The prison range for this crime is a term in state prison for two, four or six years and a revocation of driving privileges. In some circumstances similarly situated defendants can be charged with murder if the conduct was done with malice, or with an “abandoned and malignant heart.” (See Penal Code sections 192 and 188).

The Mercury News reports that the victim's family was present at the arraignment and could be heard demanding justice and shouting at the defendant. The paper further reports that the two young men did not know each other before the race and have no prior criminal history.

According to the police reports both men were racing their vehicles westbound on Yerba Buena Road, when one or both cars lost control causing a collision and the death of the jogger. The race took place at approximately noon, this past Monday.

The other defendant, Gabriel Esparza, remains out on bail and is set to be arraigned soon.

The Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson represents people accused of all crimes. If you have been arrested or are charged with a crime call us for a free consultation at 408-246-3004.

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