The California Supreme Court has refused to review the case against a man convicted of second-degree murder and other charges for a drunken crash that killed two people, including a 6-year-old boy, in Gardena four years ago.
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On Wednesday, the state’s highest court denied a defense petition seeking a review of Perry Lee Oakley Jr.’s case.
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In February, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction on second-degree murder charges stemming from the April 9, 2011, crash that killed 6-year-old Sylvester Payne Jr. of Los Angeles, and Samuel Lee Dickens, 62, of Compton.
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The appellate court justices noted that Oakley did not dispute that the evidence was sufficient to prove that he drove with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08 percent. The panel also noted that jurors could infer that Oakley knew the hazards of driving while intoxicated because he had been ordered to complete an alcohol program after pleading no contest in December 2001 to driving under the influence.
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“Finally, defendant engaged in highly dangerous driving. Traveling at approximately 39 miles an hour in a 25-mile-an-hour zone, he ran an unobstructed stop sign, entered the intersection of 141st Street and Normandie, and collided with the (Toyota) Camry, making no attempt to avoid the collision,’’ the appeals court panel noted in its 23-page ruling.
Payne and Dickens, who were sitting on the back seat of the Camry, were killed in the crash, and the Camry’s driver and front passenger were seriously injured.
Oakley left the scene of the crash and then walked back to the area about 40 minutes later. He told police he had been kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint by strangers after the collision.
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Turk read to jurors a portion of an essay Oakley had written in connection with his December 2001 DUI conviction.
“Before receiving the DUI, I was careless and did not give any thought to how drinking affect(ed) my loved ones and myself. I did not care about where I woke up in the morning after a night of drinking nor did I care to remember what I had done or whose life was affected. I was truly on a path of self-destruction taking along with me everyone who love and care about me. My respect for others around me was virtually non-existent. It is only (now) that I realize this,” Oakley wrote.