Shana Calderon’s life will never be the same again. The person who she ran into and killed on December 12 lost his life. Was it an accident? It seems so. But could it have been avoided? It seems it could have.
Calderon had alcohol in her system and drug paraphernalia in her car. She hit Michael McLaughlin as he stepped off the curb at 19th and Newport Blvd in Costa Mesa, then pulled over and spoke to witnesses, then drove away.
The Orange County District Attorney’s office decided to charge her with Hit and Run with DUI, along with other charges. Her lack of criminal background will be helpful to the judge who decides what kind of consequence she deserves, and can take into account that she turned herself in within two hours of the collision. Fortunately, the prosecutor’s office didn’t charge her with manslaughter or homicide, as they have in the past, likely due to the specific facts of her case and her absence of criminal history, as compared to the Nick Adenhart case in Anaheim last year. There, the driver had a DUI history and had been warned of the consequences of DUI, including death.
murder is one of the most serious crimes you can be charged with. To prove that someone committed murder, a prosecutor must prove that the murder was willful and premeditated. This means that the suspect must have had a plan and the intent to kill the person, or that they behaved so recklessly that malice was implied. This case doesn’t show Calderon’s intent to kill nor any recklessness to the degree required for a homicide prosecution. Whether you live in Westminster, Villa Park or San Clemente, if you have been charged with murder, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.