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Repeat DUI offender found guilty of second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter

A Sacramento jury convicted Angel Bahena of second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter after he ran a red light and collided with another vehicle. One person was killed and two others were injured in the collision. Bahena had two previous DUI convictions and was given a “Watson advisement”, which states that driving under the influence is dangerous and could lead to a charge of murder if someone is killed as a result of a future DUI

The Sacramento County DA issued the following press release:

A jury convicted Angel Bahena of second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, DUI causing injury and DUI causing injury with a BAC more than .08%. The jury also found true allegations that Bahena has one or more prior DUI convictions, personally inflicted great bodily injury and caused bodily injury to more than one victim. 

On May 15, 2022, Bahena ran a red light at the intersection of Florin Perkins Road and Elder Creek Road and collided with the victims’ vehicle. Marilyn Pillos sustained fatal blunt force trauma injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.  A second victim sustained severe blunt force trauma injuries including a lung contusion, broken ribs and laceration to his liver.  A third victim sustained lacerations to her body. 

Bahena sustained injuries and was transported to the hospital. He later submitted to a blood test, which yielded a .11% BAC and a toxicology result that was presumptive positive for cocaine and cocaine metabolite.  Bahena has two prior convictions involving driving under the influence of alcohol. In both of his prior convictions, he was provided with the Watson advisement, which is an advisement that driving under the influence is extremely dangerous to human life and might lead to a charge of murder if someone is killed as a result. 

Bahena faces a maximum sentence of 22 years to life in prison.  Sentencing is set for December 15, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. in Department 33 before the Honorable Laurel White.

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