Marine’s DUI Experience Results in 2 Deaths and 3 Injured

Twenty-one-year-old Lance Cpl. Jason Riley King sobbed as the county prosecutor displayed one photo after another of the misshapen pile of metal that had once been a car. The last time King has seen the car it was packed full of medical students and heading north on State Route 163 at 1:40 a.m. on May 15

It’s the same car that King’s own car smashed into while he drove the wrong way on the same street while he was suspected of being heavily intoxicated.

jason_king_truck_crash_1432169334683_18580033_ver1.0_320_240The collision, which happened about 1:40 a.m. on May 15. 23-year-old Madison Cornwell who was driving the car and 24-year-old passenger Anne Baldock were killed, while the remaining three passengers sustained injuries in the wreck.

When the preliminary hearing drew to a close, San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael T. Smyth ruled that there was more than ample evidence available for King to stand trial. The charges he faces include two separate murder counts, DUI that resulted in injury, and 2 counts of gross vehicular manslaughter.

King pleaded not guilty to the charges. For the students, the drive followed a night of celebrating the fact that they’d completed their second year of medical school. While the passengers were drinking, Cornwell, the self-appointed designated driver hadn’t has so much as a sip of alcohol.

One passenger, Stosh Ozog, served as a witness during King’s preliminary hearing. Their memory of the accident is hazy. They remember taking one fellow student home and the next clear recollection they have is opening their eyes in the emergency room.

bigstock-Drunk-Driving-44632708The prosecutor accuses King of indulging in binge drinking on the night while he attended first one party and then another with fellow marines. Following the crash, King submitted to two alcohol breath tests. When he took the first one his blood-alcohol level was 0.1459. After the second one it had decreased to 0.145 percent. The legal limit in California is 0.08.

Hannah Talbott, King’s best friend and fellow marine, met with King that night. She admits that they were both drinking and said that she didn’t realize just how drunk King was until they started playing pool when she realized he was struggling to hold onto his pool cue.

Auto-Insurance-400x250“I know him well enough to know that he had drank too much and we needed to leave,” she said. The two argued about just how much he’d drank and his current condition. “He was in no condition to drive.”

When King continued to brush off her concerns, Talbott took off, leaving him alone in the parking lot.

When the Cahoots bar manager heard a truck in the of bar parking lot, he worried. He found King in the parking lot and worked hard to convince him to get a ride home. King refused to listen.

If he is convicted, King could spend the next 47 years of his life in prison.