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Repeat drunk driver gets 15 years-to-life sentence for 2020 fatal Yountville DUI crash

PIX Now - Morning Edition 6/14/24
PIX Now - Morning Edition 6/14/24 11:52

A three-time drunk driver was sentenced Thursday to 15 years-to-life in prison for his involvement in a crash that killed a Yountville man in 2020.

Mauricio Ramirez Aguilar, 40, was convicted by a jury last month of second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter. The crash on Oct. 17, 2020, killed 87-year-old Constantine Tsavalas, 87, a resident of the Veterans Home of California at Yountville.

Prosecutors said Aguilar had a blood alcohol content of .204 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of .08, and was going 86 miles per hour or more when his pickup crashed into a Nissan Pathfinder driven by Tsavalas at the intersection of Highway 29 and Hoffman Lane.

Napa County Superior Court Judge Elia Ortiz handed down the sentence for Aguilar on Thursday.

Aguilar has two prior DUI convictions, both for collisions, including one in 2019 that involved first responders pulling him from his burning car after he drove into a power pole in front of the California Highway Patrol office in Napa.

During his previous DUI sentences, Aguilar was given a Watson Admonition, a warning to someone who has been convicted of drinking and driving, advising them that they put people's lives at risk when they drink and drive, and if they do so and kill someone, they can be charged with murder.

"Mr. Aguilar's actions led to irreparable loss and suffering for the family and friends of Mr. Tsavalas," Deputy District Attorney Katie Susemihl said Thursday. "His sentence serves as a solemn acknowledgment of that devastation."

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