Roundup: 4-year sentence for driver in DUI crash that killed Moorpark man, more news




  • In US
  • 2022-08-11 02:35:47Z
  • By VC Star | Ventura County Star
Ventura City firefighters at the scene of a fatal DUI crash in July 2021 on southbound Highway 101 by the Main Street exit in Ventura.
Ventura City firefighters at the scene of a fatal DUI crash in July 2021 on southbound Highway 101 by the Main Street exit in Ventura.  

Here's a roundup of recent incidents and announcements from Ventura County agencies:

Prison sentence for driver in fatal DUI crash

VENTURA COUNTY - A Moorpark man has been sentenced to four years in prison for a fatal DUI crash in Ventura last year that killed a man in his 20s.

Arnulfo Rodriguez Jr., 26, was sentenced Wednesday by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Bruce Young, court records show. In a June plea agreement, Rodriguez pleaded no contest to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and admitted to special allegations.

The crash on July 12, 2021 killed a back-seat passenger, 26-year-old Andrew Felix Mejia of Moorpark.

Rodriguez had been driving an Infinity sedan southbound on Highway 101 when he lost control of the car while exiting the freeway at Main Street in Ventura, the California Highway Patrol reported. A passenger in the front seat, a Moorpark man in his 20s, was hospitalized with major injuries.

Andrew Felix Mejia, 26, of Moorpark, was a passenger killed in a DUI crash in July 2021 off Highway 101 in Ventura.
Andrew Felix Mejia, 26, of Moorpark, was a passenger killed in a DUI crash in July 2021 off Highway 101 in Ventura.  

The Ventura County District Attorney's office said the sedan struck a raised curb, went airborne and rolled several times down a dirt embankment. Rodriguez had been speeding, prosecutors said.

It was Young's second sentencing this week involving a fatal DUI crash in Ventura from 2021.

On Tuesday, Young sentenced Nelson Manuel Rivas, 23, to five years and eight months prison time for a crash on the southbound 101 in June last year that killed 16-year-old Chloe Arbuckle and seriously injured a 17-year-old.

Bookkeeper pleads not guilty in $1M embezzlement case

VENTURA COUNTY - A Thousand Oaks woman accused of embezzling more than $1 million from the real estate firm she worked for has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of grand theft.

Dana Hiscock Vines, 60, also denied special enhancements during an arraignment Wednesday in Ventura County Superior Court, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office reported.

Vines had handled bookkeeping, payroll and HR functions for Aviara Real Estate while she worked for the Thousand Oaks firm from 2007 to 2020.

More local news: Pedestrian killed by vehicle on Pacific Coast Highway north of Ventura

Prosecutors say the company discovered in 2020 she allegedly altered the firm's bank statements and "omitted" large payments made to her personal credit cards. An audit conducted after she was fired in 2020 reportedly found she had embezzled more than $1 million since 2012 and used the money to pay credit card bills, get unauthorized bonuses and pay health insurance premiums for herself and her family.

The case was investigated by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, with the DA's fraud and technology crimes unit filing charges.

"Complex fraud cases like these are time intensive and require highly specialized investigation," Ventura County DA Erik Nasarenko said in a statement.

An early disposition conference is scheduled for Oct. 5. Vines faces a maximum sentence of 19 years, four months if convicted on all charges, the DA's office said.

Man struck by train identified

CAMARILLO - A man fatally struck by a freight train in Camarillo on July 25 has been identified.

Agustin Villalpando, 53, was a Santa Barbara resident, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office. The manner of death was found to be accidental.

The incident was reported around 5:15 p.m. near the train station on Lewis Road, Ventura County Sheriff's officials said. Villalpando died at the scene.

A report submitted to state authorities indicated the fatality occurred at a passenger station depot when the victim stepped past a yellow safety line and was struck by a Union Pacific Railroad train.

Items may be updated if more information becomes available.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Prison for driver in 2021 crash that killed Moorpark man, more news

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