Witnesses called in trial of man accused in crash

November 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Attorneys have called their final witnesses in the trial of Richard Farias. The Madera man is accused of killing two of his passengers during a crash in November of 2010.

Prosecutors say he was driving drunk.

Farias admits to drinking two shots of gin and taking a Vicodin pill hours before rolling his Jaguar on Avenue 14 in Madera.

"I remember getting out, walking about half way around my car wondering what happened," Farias said.

The crash killed passengers Deborah Lyon and Marcel Rodriguez. Farias' blood alcohol level at the time is under dispute, but the prosecutor argues it was well above the legal limit.

Valentino Valdez is the only passenger who survived the crash. He says he didn't suspect Farias was drunk when he and Rodriguez asked for a ride home from a liquor store that day. But Valdez testified Farias was speeding up to 110 miles per hour and passing multiple cars before he suddenly hit the brakes to avoid another driver.

"The car started losing control, going like this in the front real bad, and then shot to the left into a field and started flipping," Valdez said.

Farias claims his top speed was closer to 80 miles an hour and that something happened to his car to make him lose control.

"Something jerked to front and left, it felt like tire went out," Farias said.

But this isn't the first time Farias has been accused of driving drunk. He was arrested twice before on DUI charges, including a 2005 conviction that got him 35 days in jail and three years on probation.

Now Farias is facing six charges, including two counts of second degree murder.

The trial will resume Tuesday morning with closing arguments and final instructions from the judge. Then Farias' fate will be in the hands of jurors.

Load Comments