MISSION VIEJO (December 29, 2013) – A Mission Viejo resident was killed on Sunday after a drunk driver drove into his house. The tragic accident happened minutes after 3:00 a.m. at 26392 Pacato Drive. According to reports, 27 year old Kourosh Keshmiri, was at the wheel of his Cadillac sedan when he apparently lost control and drove right into the victim’s bedroom. The male victim was sleeping at the time and pronounced dead at the scene from the impact.
Kourosh Keshmiri was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony DUI and will face murder charges due to his prior DUI convictions. In California, a DUI resulting in the death of another human being is known as a “Watson Murder”, the term having been coined in People v. Watson, in which a drunk driver’s prior DUI conviction was used to prosecute for the higher crime of second-degree murder instead of manslaughter. The higher level offense carries a greater punishment.
For the last several years, drivers convicted of DUI who are plead guilty are required to agree to the following statement. ”I understand that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, impairs my ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous to human life to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both. If I continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and as a result of my driving, someone is killed, I can be charged with murder. ”
Having agreed and understood that, a driver who may not have known of the inherent risks to the life of another while drinking and driving during a first time DUI cannot later claim in a 2nd DUI that they did not fully appreciate the risks.
Authorities point to excessive speed while driving under the influence of alcohol as a cause of the accident. Keshmiri has several prior criminal cases on his record, including a June 2013 DUI charge which is still pending. His attorney on that case did not return a call seeking a statement by the time of publication. He also has a prior conviction for drinking and driving in 2010. He was driving on s suspended license. Despite his suspended license, he still may have been insured, as many car insurance polices will cover drivers even if their licences are restricted or suspended. Also, the registered owner for he car may be liable for the damage caused by Keshmiri under the legal theory of negligent entrustment.
UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Ken Jackson.