FAIRFIELD — A 23-year-old Fairfield man who was hurtling down Peabody Road in his truck at nearly twice the posted speed limit on a rainy night while talking on his cellphone – after spending the evening at a Vacaville bar – was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence causing death.
Alex Perez was petulant after the ruling by Judge James F. Moelk and, sitting in the courtroom after the probable cause hearing, he muttered an insult to the family of the man he ran down and killed on the night of Dec. 4, 2012. The relatives of 28-year-old Moses Sala immediately erupted in anger and came at Perez until a deputy sheriff got between them before a phalanx of deputies charged into the courtroom.
Sala’s relatives had just finished listening to Perez’s lawyer explain that Perez was an innocent man because Sala had been under the influence of opiates and was probably walking in the roadway when Perez struck him while speeding at more than 80 mph.
During the probable cause hearing, California Highway Patrol investigators testified that Perez had spent the evening with a couple of buddies. A bartender recalled Perez with four 22-ounce glasses of beer and two shots of hard alcohol. A copy of a $32 bar tab was later found in Perez’s wrecked truck.
A friend of Perez’s testified she received a text message from Perez the day after the crash saying, “I killed someone last night.”
Moelk ordered Perez, who is out of custody on $120,000 bail, to return to court to be arraigned Sept. 1.
After the hearing, Perez and his family were escorted by deputies to their car.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.