Rafael Lopez, Teen Held in December Crash That Killed Father and Son, Now Faces Murder Charges
An Anaheim teen originally charged with vehicular manslaughter in the December 2010 deaths of a father and son in Buena Park, just had the charges upgraded against him by prosecutors today to double-murder.
Rafael Lopez, 19, is accused of felony murder of Steven Uselton, 44, by causing multiple blunt force injuries and internal bleeding and felony murder of Douglas Uselton, 17, by causing blunt force trauma to the head and internal injuries.
Lopez, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, faces a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in state prison if convicted.
Around 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2010, Lopez was driving his Mitsubishi sedan at high speeds on Crescent Avenue in Buena Park before accelerating through a red light at the Knott Avenue intersection and smacking into a Buick sedan driven by Steven Uselton, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) statement.
The Buick skidded 130 feet before coming to a stop. The driver and his son, who was being driven to an early-morning high school debate tournament, died at the scene. Lopez, who had a .13 blood alcohol level, was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.
The Useltons are survived by a wife/mother and a teenage daughter/sister
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts