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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Defendant wants to change plea in DUI manslaughter case

  • Man is accused of causing crash that killed his brother
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    The man who pleaded no contest to felony manslaughter in a drunk driving crash that killed his brother has apparently changed his mind and now wants to change his plea.
    Leobardo Lopez-Martinez, 24, was scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield but instead the sentencing was rescheduled for Aug. 7 and a hearing to set a date for a motion to withdraw his plea was also scheduled for that date.
    Lopez-Martinez pleaded no contest on May 1 to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
    Lopez-Martinez has been in custody since the March 24 crash on Highway 119 that fatally injured his brother Alejandro.
    The men were in a car travelling northbound on Highway 119 just south of East Kern when the driver lost control and the car slid across the roadway, striking a tree just north of East Kern St.
    Leobardo Lopez-Martinez and another man escaped serious injury but Alejandro Lopez-Martinez was fatally injured and died the next morning at Kern Medical Center.
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