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A man who caused a fatal crash on I-5 in April of 2010 is guilty of second-degree murder, according to a jury that delivered their verdict on September 8 in San Diego’s North County Superior Court. William Vincent Romero, 44, was also found guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI with serious injury, and hit-and-run causing death.

The jury deliberated less than a full day after a two-week trial. Fortunately, the jury delivered their verdict a little after 2 p.m. and got off the third floor of the Vista courthouse before the countywide power outage.

Romero was driving his black Camaro southbound from Orange County when he struck the back of a Ford Explorer before midnight, causing the Explorer to flip, according to expert testimony.

Oscar Lopez Sr, 27, who was asleep in the back of the Explorer, was killed, and his 5-year-old son was ejected onto the freeway and suffered a head injury.

CHP officer Mark Keyes said they used a canine to find Romero hiding some distance from the crash scene that night, and the suspect told them he “wasn’t the driver of that vehicle” and “we should be looking for a guy named Ted.”

Romero’s blood and DNA were found on the driver’s side airbag of his smashed Camaro. Officer Keyes noted Romero “did have a cut to his head.”

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Eva Knott Nov. 2, 2011 @ 11:21 a.m.

William Vincent Romero was sentenced to 16 years to Life in prison on November 2 2011, by Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman, who had heard the jury trial.

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