From Press Telegram
Long Beach, Ca., — 2013-08-16 — An emergency medical technician who allegedly was drunk and blacked out when he crashed his car into a tow-truck driver on the 405 Freeway in December is facing second-degree murder charges in a prosecution several legal experts say is very aggressive.
Faapuna Manu, 27, of Long Beach, was fatally struck about 2 a.m. Dec. 9 on the right shoulder near the Cherry Avenue on-ramp to the southbound 405 Freeway.
Raymond Burley, 26, of Los Angeles, who was driving a 2005 Toyota, swerved onto the right shoulder and struck Manu, who was standing at his tow truck inflating a spare tire. Burley also sideswiped a 2005 Mercedes-Benz that was parked on the shoulder with a flat tire.
In July, at the Long Beach Superior Courthouse, Burley was charged with one count of what is called a “Watson murder.” It refers to a precedent-setting 1981 California Supreme Court case, The People v. Watson, that set the stage for reckless drivers, including drunk drivers, who cause a fatal collision to be convicted of second-degree murder.
In People v. Watson, the court ruled that once someone has been convicted of a DUI, the person essentially acknowledges the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol ….MORE