Jury convicts in murder case
The jury took less than an hour Thursday to reach a guilty verdict in the murder trial of a man who allegedly was driving drunk in the crash that killed his 2-year-old son.
Authorities alleged 41-year-old Albert Jorge Silva had been drinking and had smoked marijuana in the hours before the March 12, 2018, crash on Highway 20 when he ran off the road and then over-corrected, with the car overturning several times. His son Quincy was ejected, landing in the roadway, authorities said. The toddler was taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Deputy District Attorney Cambria Lisonbee chose to begin her closing argument Thursday in Nevada County Superior Court with some brutal language.
“S—t happens. … It was a f—ing accident.”
Those words were uttered by Silva in a jailhouse phone call to Quincy’s mother after his arrest following the crash, Lisonbee said.
Lisonbee argued the murder charge was warranted because Silva acted with implied malice, meaning he intentionally drove while impaired, with conscious disregard for human life. The prosecutor noted that Silva had three prior DUI convictions in which he was warned of the possible consequences of his actions.
“He simply didn’t care,” she said.
Deputy Public Defender Thomas Angell, however, told the jury there was no implied malice and no evidence Silva was impaired and that his impairment caused the fatal crash.
“This case is an accident,” Angell said. “It is not a murder — not morally, not philosophically and most importantly, not legally.”
Silva’s public defender argued there was not enough evidence to prove that Silva’s impairment caused the wreck, citing the hazardous nature of that section of road, the rainy conditions and his lack of familiarity with the area as possible causes.
Angell acknowledged Quincy’s death was a tragedy. But, he said, while the jurors were allowed to feel emotion, they could not bring it into the jury room.
“You might be moved to tears by the loss of life in this case… but the only vote in this case is not guilty,” Angell concluded.
Silva is set for sentencing March 18, and he remained Thursday in custody on a no-bail warrant.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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