Carlos Garcia will be sentenced in death of Frankie De La Cruz on June 21
The defendant in a drunk driving case stemming from traffic accident that killed a Taft man last summer has pleaded no contest to second degree murder.
Carlos Bonifacio Garcia will be sentenced on June 21 in Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield.
Garcia faced four felony counts in connection with the head-on collision on Highway 119 west of Stine road that fatally injured Frankie DeLa Cruz, 25, of Taft on July 15 2017.
Garcia, 28, who had a prior DUI conviction in 2011, was driving eastbound on the highway when his car went into oncoming traffic and collided with De la Cruz' pickup.
The Bakersfield Californian, citing court documents, report a witness to the crash told police he was driving east on Taft Highway when Garcia's car approached from behind and tried passing him several times. the witness told officers two people in the car "appeared distracted by a white object that may have been a foam cup or a phone they kept passing back and forth."
the documents said a blood sample taken from Garcia returned a blood alcohol content of 0.23 percent.
After Garcia pleaded no contest to the murder charge, several other counts, including gross vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI, were dismissed, according to court documents.
Garcia is being held on $1,050,000 bail pending his sentencing.