If convicted of murder in this case, Ryan Trevino could face 15 years to life in prison.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The man accused of causing a deadly DUI crash over the weekend appeared before a Fresno judge on Wednesday.
But Ryan Trevino was not at the county courthouse downtown. Instead, he was lying down in his hospital bed at Community Regional Medical Center after having emergency surgery Sunday night.
His room on the seventh floor became a courtroom for a few moments.
Judge Brian Alvarez, sheriff's deputies, and a court reporter filed into the room around 1:45 pm.
Trevino was there for arraignment on a murder charge. Prosecutors say the 35-year-old was driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana on Saturday when he killed a man.
His blue Chevy Silverado slammed head-on into a white Toyota Tundra on Millerton Road near Marina Drive.
John Tarter was driving that Toyota. The 78-year-old died before a helicopter could fly him to the hospital. A passenger in the Tundra was hospitalized with major injuries.
Trevino's arrest following the crash is not the first time he has been in trouble with the law for drinking.
He was convicted of other DUI charges in 2007 and 2019. And just last week, he was in court again for another DUI charge stemming from an October incident.
In those previous cases, judges have told Trevino to stay away from alcohol, and they read him a Watson advisement.
"That says that he was warned about driving under the influence, and if he killed someone, he could be filed with first-degree murder," Action News legal analyst Tony Capozzi said. "And the theory behind that is when somebody knows they've been convicted and knows they're under the influence, that's wanton disregard for someone's life."
The judge denied cameras in the hospital room at CRMC because of HIPAA privacy protections, but Action News was allowed to observe the proceeding.
Trevino was wearing a blue hospital v-neck, he didn't appear to be in handcuffs, and his eyes were closed for much of the hearing. His right leg was bandaged, wrapped, and propped up on a wedge.
"He will remain there until he's well enough to be taken to the jail," Capozzi said. "And throughout that period of time, there will be a deputy sheriff outside the door of the hospital room."
Judge Alvarez said Trevino is being held on more than a million-dollar bail, and he postponed the arraignment for about two weeks so Trevino can hire a private attorney.
If convicted of murder in this case, Trevino could face 15 years to life in prison.