Andrew Thomas Gallo, Drunk Driver Convicted of Killing Angels Phenom Nick Adenhart and 2 Others, Gets No State Supreme Court Relief
It's another swing and a miss for Andrew Thomas Gallo, as the California Supreme Court denied the San Gabriel man's pitch for a review of his conviction on triple-homicide, drunken-driving, and hit-and-run charges for the 2009 Fullerton crash that took the life of rising Anaheim Angels star Nick Adenhart and two others.
Gallo, who was sentenced to 51 years to life in state prison, now must turn to the federal courts for appeals as the state high court's decision was preceded by the state appellate court in Santa Ana upholding the conviction in December.
Hours after pitching six shutout innings for the Angels at the Big A in his first major-league start on April 9, 2009, Adenhart was riding in a Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by 20-year-old former Cal State Fullerton cheerleader Courtney Stewart. Also along for the ride to the In Cahoots country and western dance club were 25-year-old Henry Pearson and Jonathan Wilhite, a then-24-year-old former Cal State Fullerton Titans catcher.
Gallo, who'd spent most of the same day drinking, drove a minivan despite having a prior DUI conviction and having been told through his punishment that alcohol and driving don't mix. He would run a red light and broadside the Eclipse, killing everyone inside except Wilhite, who suffered what doctors called internal decapitation. His injuries are with him for the rest of his life.
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By the time he could be tested, Gallo showed a blood-alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit. He would plead not guilty to three counts of second-degree murder, driving under the influence, hit-and-run, and driving with a suspended license. A jury convicted him in 2010.
In their 21-page ruling, the three-judge appeals panel disagreed with the Gallo defense's contention that Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey was biased against the defendant, conducted an unfair trial and was guilty of judicial misconduct. By contrast, the state Supreme Court simply declined to review the case.
Gallo is now free to pursue an appeal through the federal courts system, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary, and his attorney told the The Orange County Register today she believes he will do just that with new counsel that specializes in federal appeals.
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