Trial began last week for a 29-year-old Placentia man facing a murder count for allegedly raging on methamphetamine, Diazepam, Nordiazepam, Alprazolam, Hydroxyalprazolam, Oxazepam, Temazepam, amphetamine, Morphine, and 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahyrocannabinol (THCA) before causing a car crash that killed a pedestrian and injured two people in another vehicle. If Adam Harrison Hall is found guilty, he faces up to 21 years to life in prison.
He was driving north on Moulton Parkway in Laguna Niguel after 11 a.m. on Feb. 13, 2011, when he allegedly ran his Ford SUV through a red light at Nueva Vista Drive, crashing into a Toyota SUV.
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Both vehicles spun out and the Toyota occupants were injured. Steven James suffered severe bruising and Anna Gaffney sustained a broken collar bone. The Ford, meanwhile, continued up the curb, onto the sidewalk and into Mara Lynnes Steves, who was walking a dog. The 48-year-old died from her injuries.
From an Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) statement, you can piece together an interesting timeline that contributed to prosecutors filing murder charges against Hall, who has two previous convictions for driving under the influence:
On March 3, 2008, Hall pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs (Case # 08NM02020) for an incident occurring in October 2007. He was sentenced at that time to three years of informal probation and ordered to complete a 3-month First Offender Alcohol Program and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel.
Less than two months after being sentenced for driving under the influence of drugs, Hall was again arrested for driving under the influence on May 8, 2008. Hall pleaded guilty in that case Oct. 3, 2008, to misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol (Case # 08CM08821) and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, five years of informal probation, and was ordered to complete a 180-day Drug and Alcohol Program and an 18-month Multiple Offender Alcohol Program.
[The Laguna Niguel fatal collision, you'll recall, was Feb. 13, 2011.]
On May 20, 2011, Hall is accused of calling a female acquaintance, Elizabeth Rene Parker, who worked in a doctor's office where the defendant is not a patient to request prescription drugs Hall was not prescribed to. Parker pretended to be one of her co-workers and called a CVS drugstore to order a prescription of Norco under Hall's name. Hall is accused of entering the drugstore and picking up a prescription of Norco.
On May 23, 2011, the Orange County District Attorney's Office filed charges against Hall for murder.
On May 24, 2011, Parker called a Walgreens drugstore to order a prescription of Xanax and Norco under an alias. Hall is accused of entering the drugstore and attempting to pick up the prescription but was not able to do so because he did not have proper identification.
Orange County sheriff's deputies arrested Hall at the pharmacy. Parker was popped as well. She pleaded guilty to two felony counts each of second degree burglary and obtaining a prescription by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation and was sentenced to two years in state prison.
Hall, who the OCDA claims signed acknowledgements at the time of his DUI pleas that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, now faces felony murder, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, obtaining or possessing drugs secured by a forged prescription (two counts) and forgery of prescription, with sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing bodily injury and causing great bodily injury or death to more than one victim.
He's being tried in Santa Ana.