Advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving has named San Luis Obispo County deputy district Attorney Stephen Wagner "Prosecutor of the Year" for the Southern California region for his courtroom work in vehicular death cases.
Wagner was presented the award Tuesday at the MADD Law Enforcement Recognition Awards ceremony in Camarillo.
The award is presented to prosecutors who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and excellence in the prosecution of alcohol and drug-impaired driving.
Wagner joined the county District Attorney's Office full-time in 2016 after working in a grant-funded position with the California District Attorneys Association's Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors program.
In that capacity, he co-prosecuted a case against Kaylee Weisenberg, who was convicted of second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter after hitting and killing CHP officer Brett Oswald near Paso Robles while under the influence of methamphetamine in 2010.
Since that case, Wagner has prosecuted DUI and other criminal motor vehicle-related cases, resulting in the August 2017 second-degree murder conviction of Jerald Holman, who killed two child passengers while driving drunk in 2017; the March 2017 vehicular manslaughter conviction of Los Osos resident Tanner Mengore for a crash that killed two passengers; and the conviction of William Mobley, a serial drunken driver from Santa Maria who crashed into and killed Richard Stabile in December 2017.
On Wednesday, Wagner described prosecuting vehicular death cases as rewarding, due in part to complexities from levels of intoxication and complicated crash dynamics.
"It is indeed truly rewarding to be recognized by MADD and to be a part of an event that is held to give thanks to all those on the front lines," he said.