Driver guilty of murder in Adenhart death

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:53 PM ET

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Andrew Thomas Gallo was found guilty of murder in the drunken driving accident that killed three people, including Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart in April of 2009.

A jury found Gallo guilty on three felony counts of murder, one felony count of fleeing the scene of a traffic collision involving death or permanent injury, one felony count of driving under the influence causing injury and one felony count of driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol causing injury.

Gallo will be sentenced on Dec. 10 and faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison.

According to the Orange County District Attorney, at approximately 12:23 a.m. on Apr. 9, 2009, Gallo was speeding in a minivan at approximately 65 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone while under the influence of alcohol, on probation, and driving on a suspended license. Gallo's license had been suspended due to a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The accident took place in Fullerton, California, just hours after Adenhart had pitched six scoreless innings for the Angels.

According to court documents and the police report, Gallo ran a red light and crashed into the car carrying Adenhart and three others.

Adenhart, who was 22 years old at the time, Courtney Stewart, a student and former cheerleader at Cal-State Fullerton, and Henry Pearson, a law student working toward becoming a sports agent, were killed. The fourth victim, Jon Wilhite, a former player for the Fullerton baseball team, survived but was critically injured.

Following the accident, Gallo fled the scene on foot before he was arrested less than 30 minutes later about two miles away. Two hours after the accident, Gallo had a blood alcohol level of .19 percent, well above the limit of .08.

During the two-week trial, defense attorneys argued that Gallo did not have specified knowledge of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Gallo had been involved in an alcohol-related single-vehicle crash in 2005, for which he was convicted of driving under the influence in 2006. As a result of that conviction, Gallo signed in his guilty-plea waiver of rights form an acknowledgement that he could be prosecuted for murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence of alcohol.


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