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Enhanced charges could mean more prison time for Oceano man accused of causing fatal Pismo crash

Jerardo Iriarte, 19, of Oceano was arrested Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence after allegedly driving his car off Highway 101 intentionally, killing two pedestrians. Original story »
Plea: N/A What's next: Further arraignment scheduled for 1/16/11.
Jerardo Iriarte, 19, of Oceano was arrested Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence after allegedly driving his car off Highway 101 intentionally, killing two pedestrians. Original story » Plea: N/A What's next: Further arraignment scheduled for 1/16/11.

Prosecutors have strengthened the charges against the Oceano man accused of causing the deaths of a couple from the state of Washington in a vehicle crash.

Jerardo Iriarte, 19, has been charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in connection with the wreck that killed Bruce and Marjorie Mallin on Oct. 16. Distraught over a breakup with his girlfriend, Iriarte told police he drove off Highway 101 intentionally and intended to harm himself.

The District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that Iriarte also will face legal enhancements that can strengthen his penalty if he’s convicted.

Iriarte was charged with causing great bodily injury during the commission of a felony.

His maximum possible prison sentence now is 11 years compared instead of seven years as initially charged.

Iriarte’s next hearing date is scheduled for Jan. 16.

--Nick Wilson

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