“It is beyond tragic that so many lives are taken or negatively impacted by a perfectly preventable crime, DUI. We thank the criminalists at the California Department of Justice who assist local law enforcement officers and district attorneys’ offices with blood alcohol content levels in DUI investigations.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
STANISLAUS COUNTY – On May 18, 2023, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office announced that Jesus Perez, 25, of Oakdale has been convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the 2021 deaths of Sarah and George Pacheco.
On the evening of May 18, 2021, Jesus Perez was driving approximately 20 miles per hour over the speed limit on Orange Blossom Road when his black 2016 Chevrolet Silverado crossed over double yellow lines into oncoming traffic and crashed into a 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe head-on.
The driver of the Tahoe, George Pacheco, was pronounced dead at the scene. Pacheco’s wife, Sarah, was transported to the hospital with life threatening injuries and died twelve days later. Perez’s two passengers, Michael Arkow and Bradford Aquino also sustained injuries.
When contacted by officers, Perez showed obvious signs and symptoms of intoxication. He was combative and refused any chemical testing. A forcible blood draw pursuant to a search warrant showed Perez’s blood alcohol content to be .089% approximately three and a half hours after the collision. A Department of Justice senior criminalist determined that Perez’s blood alcohol content would have been approximately .156% at the time of the collision, almost twice the legal limit.
On May 12, 2023, just before going to jury trial, Perez pled no contest to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and admitted enhancements for refusing to take a chemical test and having a high blood alcohol content of .15% or higher, driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content over .08% causing injury to Michael Arkow and admitted enhancements for causing injuries to Bradford Aquino.
Victim impact statements and sentencing are set for June 12th, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. in Department 4. At that hearing Perez, who had no prior criminal record, is expected to be sentenced pursuant to a plea agreement to a term of seven years in state prison.