• Guilty Verdict in Drunk Driving Trial

    A Pacific Grove man has been found guilty of killing two women and injuring his passenger in a 2013 accident in Pebble Beach.

    Stuart Elder, 31, of Pacific Grove has been found guilty of two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with a special enhancement of causing great bodily injury to his passenger, driving under the influence causing injury, and driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of .8 or higher and a special enhancement for injuring multiple victims. His blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

    Stuart Elder, Booking Photo

    Stuart Elder, Booking Photo

    He faces up to 15 years in prison for the deaths of Linda LaRone, 65, and Sharon Daly, 72. The women were the former owners of Stone’s pet shop in Pacific Grove.

    The jury deliberated for about three-and-a-half hours Thursday and Friday and find Elder guilty on all counts.

    “The testimony and physical evidence established that the defendant spent the afternoon of April 7, 2013 drinking wine while at Spanish Bay Inn in Pebble Beach. At 7:30 p.m. he got into his Cadillac Escalade with his girlfriend and headed towards his then home in Pebble Beach. While driving on Sloat Road, a 25 mile an hour residential area, the defendant reached speeds of 80 miles an hour. As he approached Bird Rock Road he rounded a curve and traveling three times the speed limit he crossed into Sharon Daly’s lane colliding into her Ford Freestyle killing her and her passenger, Linda Larone. His passenger, Selvia Gattas, was also seriously injured in the collision.

    “The CHP-Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team was able to reconstruct the collision with data retrieved from the Electronic Data Recording Device “black box” from the defendant’s Escalade. This established that the defendant was traveling at 77-80 miles an hour mere seconds before the collision. The defendant hit his brakes a half second before colliding with Ms. Daly and Ms. Larone. He was traveling at 70.9 miles an hour at the moment of impact. In addition, the defendant was driving these excessive speeds with a blood alcohol level of .17, over double the legal limit. The choices of the defendant to spend the afternoon drinking alcohol, to drive impaired at double the legal limit and his incredibly excessive speed three times the speed limit in the residential re of Pebble Beach…” according to the district attorney’s press release.

    He is being held in Monterey County Jail. Sentencing is set for April 1.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on February 6, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News, Police Log

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