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Jurors unable to reach a verdict on all charges in trial of woman charged in killing four people in traffic collision on 76

VISTA - Jurors deciding the fate of a Palm Springs woman charged with murder for a 2007 traffic collision that killed four people near the Pala Casino told a judge today they have been unable to reach a verdict on all charges.

Deanna Fridley, 26, who had been drinking and smoking methamphetamine before the crash occurred, faces multiple life terms in prison if convicted of four counts of second-degree murder and other charges.

She claims she was not driving when the crash occurred.

The jury foreperson told Vista Judge Runston Maino that jurors have agreed upon two counts.

Maino ordered the jury to return to court Tuesday morning, at which time he will hear a motion by defense attorney James Boyd to declare a mistrial.

If the motion is denied, the jury will resume deliberations on the unresolved counts.

Deputy District Attorney Brenda Daly told jurors that Fridley drove more than 85 mph and repeatedly crossed double-yellow lines in the moments leading up to the Dec. 14, 2007, crash that took the lives of Luis De Santiago, 45, and his wife Lina, 46, of Escondido, and Luis Baez, 51, and his wife Rubi, 46, of Vista.

Fridley spent part of the night drinking and smoking meth with her best friend, Amber Arviso, who herself was responsible for injuring several people in an alcohol-related collision about a month earlier, according to the prosecutor.

Daly said the women were joined by Anthony Boles, and Arviso was later left behind after an argument.

Fridley and Boles were returning to pick up Arviso when the crash happened just before midnight on a curve on state Route 76, about three miles from the casino.

The two couples were on their way home from a night of gambling when Luis De Santiago's Toyota Camry was struck head-on by Fridley's GMC Yukon.

''All lost their lives because the defendant made her choices,'' Daly said.

Fridley and Boles were pulled from the flaming Yukon and hospitalized with broken bones. Her blood-alcohol level was .12 percent, and she tested positive for methamphetamine, the prosecutor said.

Boyd said his client was not driving the Yukon when the accident happened.

Fridley testified that she drove her SUV around much of the day, but switched seats with Boles after realizing she was too ''messed up'' to drive.

Jurors deliberate third day without verdict in trial of woman charged in killing four people in traffic collision on 76

VISTA - Jurors trying to decide the fate of a 26-year-old woman charged with murder in a 2007 traffic collision that killed four people near the Pala Casino deliberated today for a third day without reaching a verdict.

Deanna Fridley, who had been drinking and was allegedly high on methamphetamine when she crashed, faces multiple life terms in prison if convicted of four counts of second-degree murder and other charges.

Deliberations are scheduled to continue tomorrow in the courtroom of Judge Runston Maino.

In her opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Brenda Daly told jurors that Fridley drove more than 85 mph and repeatedly crossed double-yellow lines in the moments leading up to the Dec. 14, 2007, crash that took the lives of Luis De Santiago and his wife Lina, and Luis Baez and his wife Rubi.

Fridley spent part of the night drinking and smoking meth with her best friend, Amber Arviso, who herself was responsible for injuring several people in an alcohol-related collision about a month earlier, according to the prosecutor.

Daly said the women were joined by Anthony Boles, and Arviso was later left behind after an argument.

Fridley and Boles were returning to pick up Arviso when the crash happened just before midnight on a curve on state Route 76, almost three miles from Pala Casino.

The two couples were on their way home from a night of gambling when Luis De Santiago's Toyota Camry was struck head-on by Fridley's GMC Yukon.

The driver, 45, and Lina, 46, died on impact, Daly said.

Rubi Baez, 46, was pulled from the wreckage but died at the scene. Her 51-year-old husband died at a hospital.

''All lost their lives because the defendant made her choices,'' Daly said.

Daly said Fridley and Boles were pulled from the flaming Yukon and hospitalized with broken bones. Her blood-alcohol level was .12 percent, and she tested positive for methamphetamine, the prosecutor said.

Fridley attorney James Boyd said his client was not the driver of the Yukon when the accident happened.

Fridely testified that she drove her SUV around much of the day, but switched seats with Boles after realizing she was too ''messed up'' to drive.

 

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