Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kern County: home of the drunk driver

Doesn't it seem we get more than our fair share of utterly horrific cases of drunk drivers in Kern County? Two cases made their way through the courts this week. The first involved Jose Hernandez, the 39-year-old multiple offender (seven drunken driving convictions) who was flying down Stockdale Highway at 90 mph (with his 2-year-old daughter no less) when he slammed into a sedan at Fairway Drive, killing Barbara Blair. Hernandez (pictured) was found guilty of second-degree murder and will be sentenced April 9. Hernandez apologized but it seems a tad late for that. The other case involved 18-year-old Noemi (Nemo) Perez, a promising young Cal State Bakersfield track athlete who was killed Feb. 8 near Arvin.(view earlier story here) She was doing nothing more than driving down Highway 223 when a vehicle driven by a drunk Francisco Nestor Santo, 22, crashed into Noemi's car and another one. He cut a plea deal and pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He will be sentenced March 25. He's in the Lerdo Jail while on a U.S. Border Patrol hold.

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