Esqueda pleads not guilty
Suspected illegal immigrant in crash that killed CHP officer
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
By JUSTIN BOGGS
Teresa Bailey sat in the courtroom Tuesday holding the wedding band that belonged to her husband, a 10-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, who was killed by a suspected drunken driver Saturday night.
It was the first time Bailey would see the man CHP officials say had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit when he allegedly crashed into Officer Gregory Bailey on Interstate 15 near Oak Hill Road.
Domingo Esqueda pleaded innocent to one count of vehicular manslaughter and two counts of causing an injury crash while under the influence of alcohol.
If convicted of all charges, Esqueda, 20, faces a maximum of 10 years and eight months in state prison, said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Gary Roth.
Superior Court Judge Jon Ferguson assigned the public defender's office to represent Esqueda, who is a suspected illegal alien from Mexico. The judge ordered that Esqueda's bail remain at $1 million and set a preliminary hearing date for next week. When first arrested, Esqueda's bail had been set at $100,000 but, a Superior Court judge Monday ordered the increase.
Teresa Bailey was accompanied in the courtroom by CHP officers, one of whom held her hand through the duration of the arraignment. She said she plans to attend all proceedings of Esqueda's trial.
"I wanted to be here," said Teresa Bailey of the arraignment. "It was good for me. This was the first time I had a chance to see him (Esqueda). He can expect to see a lot more of me."
Gregory Bailey, 36, had finished his shift but pulled over a pickup truck while on the way home to Adelanto from the CHP station in Rancho Cucamonga. While Bailey spoke to a driver he had pulled over, Esqueda veered off the northbound side of Interstate 15 just north of Oak Hills Road and crashed into Bailey's CHP motorcycle and the pickup truck at around 10:30 p.m. Gregory Bailey was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center where he died an hour later.
Gregory Bailey is the sixth CHP officer to die in the line of duty since September. Two of the other officers' lives were taken by alleged drunken drivers, officials said. Gregory Bailey had recently returned from a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq with the Army National Guard.
He is survived by his wife of 14 years, two daughters, two sons and both of his parents.
Gregory Bailey's funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at The Rock Church and World Outreach Center. The church is located at 2345 South Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino.
Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 3537, La Habra, California 90632-3537. Please indicate the donation is for the Bailey Family.
Cards for the family may be sent to 9530 Pittsburgh Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.
It is (or was, last I checked) legal to drink & drive in Mexico. Not drive drunk, but it's fine to have a Corona or XX in the cup holder there. Wouldn't suggest that gringos try this, however, since I don't think the police down there care about the law, as long as they have a chance to shake a gringo down . . .
My wife had an accident with a illegal who was on meth and cocaine. My uncle and grandfather were killed by smugglers who were going > 100 mph and on the wrong side on a blind cure, back around 1970.
Uh, something really fucked up if you kill someone while intoxicated and only get 10 years and eight months...
never ending manslaughter vs murder debate...
when will they ever learn. MADD tried to get it changed. but i guess being drunk means less than murder.
From the Los Angeles Times
A Final '10-10' for a CHP Officer
State and law enforcement officials bid farewell to Officer John Bailey, who was killed by a suspected drunk driver.
By Ashley Powers
Times Staff Writer
March 4, 2006
The funeral for California Highway Patrol Officer John Bailey on Friday ended with a recording of him signing off from his final shift: "10-10," the dispatch code that signals a patrol officer is heading home.
Bailey, 36, who was killed Feb. 25 by a suspected drunk driver, was remembered during a three-hour memorial as, one supervisor said, a "cowboy to the rescue."
Speakers described Bailey as a man devoted to his wife, Teresa, and their four young children, and to his service in the U.S. Army, the California National Guard and the Highway Patrol.
"Every time I ride, I will carry him with me," said fellow CHP motorcycle Officer Mike Hootman during his eulogy at the Rock Church and World Outreach Center in San Bernardino.
"Take it easy, buddy. I'll see you later," Hootman said.
A 10-year veteran of the CHP, Bailey was killed after he pulled over a suspected drunk driver on Interstate 15 near Hesperia. He made the stop while he was heading home after the end of his shift.
A second suspected drunk driver careened off the road, striking and killing Bailey. Domingo Esqueda, 20, has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Bailey was the sixth Highway Patrol officer to be killed on duty in the last five months — a string of deaths that prompted CHP Commissioner Michael Brown this week to order that patrol officers be debriefed to see if immediate changes in department policies were needed.
The most CHP fatalities in one year came in 1964, when eight officers were killed.
"We will make this passing meaningful, hopefully, for all of us that carry a badge," a visibly shaken Brown told hundreds of people in the cavernous church.
The funeral's guest book read like a roster of Southern California law enforcement agencies. State officials — including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and gubernatorial candidates Treasurer Phil Angelides and Controller Steve Westly — sat among the green and beige uniforms.
Highway Patrol and military officers had taken turns since 7:30 a.m. standing as bookends to Bailey's casket, draped with an American flag.
"It seems fitting in John's memory that we take over his watch," said CHP Capt. Lynne Jones.
Born in Michigan, Bailey moved with his family to rural Thurmont, Md., when he and his sister were young. Aimee Bailey recalled a playful older brother who chased her with bugs and lizards and later taught her to drive a stick-shift.
"I thought the two of us would grow old," she told mourners.
After high school, Bailey trained as a helicopter mechanic in the Army, repairing Blackhawks. He entered the CHP academy in 1995, spending five years in the Barstow station before transferring to Rancho Cucamonga to become a motorcycle officer.
In November, Bailey had returned from a 14-month tour in Iraq with the California National Guard.
Pictured in the church's lobby wearing a black cowboy hat, Bailey "was not a make-believe cowboy," said his close friend Mike Walker. The officer had his hat custom-made in Phoenix, his boots in Las Vegas. He listened to country western music.
Walker, peeking from beneath his own cowboy hat, recalled the tale about how being a rich man means having five friends you can count on. "Now I only have four," he said.
The funeral service ended, and mourners filed outside for a military farewell: a 21-gun salute under a drizzling sky. Each of the officer's children — Hannah, Megan, Jared and Dylan — clutched a teddy bear; their mother was presented with a pair of American flags.
Pallbearers wheeled away Bailey's coffin, passing rows and rows of uniformed men and women, who were saluting.
Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times
partners: KTLA Hoy
Tell me about it......murders (that's what I call it), of loved ones by DUI's are a slap in the hand.
The DWI driver that took the life of a loved one, got 8 years, was out in 5. Had 3 prior DUI's, and a suspended license.
No sympathy for drunks at all......hope that POS gets his ass shanked in prison.