FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The serial drunk driver who killed a Fresno mother of eight apologized for the first time Monday. Luis Moreno, 52, testified as he desperately fights the murder charge against him.
Court records show Moreno had five DUIs before the deadly wreck in May 2013. In 2010, he acknowledged out loud and in writing that if he drove drunk again and someone died, he could be charged with murder. But when it actually happened, he said he was driving safely and it's not murder.
Luis Moreno was close to Table Mountain when he drove into oncoming traffic and killed Blia Vang. He told officers at the scene he was headed for the casino.
Three years later, with prosecutors trying to put him away for murder, his story has changed. Moreno now says he was looking for a motel along Blackstone after an argument with his girlfriend.
He said he found one that was too expensive, got back on Blackstone and wanted to make a U-turn to find another place.
"But I didn't make a U-turn," he said. "Instead I accidentally made a left turn and somehow I ended up on (Highway) 41."
Moreno chalks up his mistakes not to being drunk, but to not knowing the area. He ended up several miles down Friant Road before he says he tried to make another U-turn. That's when he hit the Toyota in which Vang was a passenger. But he says he doesn't remember the crash because he blacked out.
"I guess the alcohol just came up all at once and that's when it hit me hard," he said. "So I guess you would say that, you know, I was buzzed."
Moreno didn't want to admit he was drunk, but prosecutors say his blood alcohol content was measured at .36 after the crash, more than four times the legal limit for any driver. Moreno said he was driving safely almost the whole way and got emotional as he said he never had any disregard for human life.
"I'm sorry," he said as he grabbed a Kleenex and wiped away tears. "I truly am sorry."
Closing arguments in the case are Tuesday. Moreno faces life in prison if he's convicted of murder.