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By Tom Ferrall

DUI driver to be retried for murder in 2015 accident that killed activist Crews


Last updated 3/19/2018 at 2pm

Marco Antonio Pastor, who has already been convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter in the 2015 death of Fallbrook resident Joseph Howard Crews, will be retried for second-degree murder, according to Deputy District Attorney Bob Bruce of the San Diego District Attorney's Office.

A North County jury Feb. 20 found Pastor, who had two prior convictions for driving under the influence, guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated but hung on the second-degree murder charge. According to Fallbrook resident Wayne Avery, who was a member of the jury, the vote was 7-5 in favor of not guilty.

Pastor, an agricultural worker, was on probation for his second DUI conviction when the Ford Freestyle he was driving collided head-on with Crews' Mitsubishi Outlander along East Mission Road in Fallbrook at 4:45 p.m. Oct. 21, 2015. Crews died five days later as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident.

Crews, 77, was a longtime political activist who was known for staging anti-war and other protests. He served as president of the Fallbrook Democratic Club in 2010 and wrote many political columns and opinion pieces that appeared in publications such as the Village News, the North County Times and Voice of San Diego.

Avery stated the jury learned that Pastor was in the process of taking mandated DUI classes and that the fatal collision occurred just four days after Pastor had attended his most recent class. Avery said the jury was told Pastor's blood-alcohol level was 0.19 when taken at the hospital and that an expert testified that it was likely 0.24 to 0.27 at the time of the accident.

Bruce said a felony readiness conference will be held March 23 in Vista at the San Diego Superior Court North County Division. The second-degree murder trial is scheduled to start June 4. Sentencing will take place following the conclusion of the second trial.

Paster, 30, was 28 at the time of the accident. He is housed at the Vista Detention Facility.


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