Crime

Oceano man accused of driving car off Hwy. 101, killing two, may withdraw plea

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.

An Oceano man accused of killing two people after intentionally driving off Highway 101 in Pismo Beach may withdraw his plea.

In July, 20-year-old Jerardo Iriarte pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the crash that killed Bruce and Marjorie Mallin on Oct. 16.

Iriarte was upset over breaking up with his girlfriend and was trying to hurt himself, he told investigators.

Detectives said he steered his car off Highway 101 in Pismo Beach and down an embankment, breaking through a chain-link fence. The Mallins were walking along Price Street when they were struck. The car came to a stop after hitting a tree, near where Iriarte’s ex-girlfriend was working at Marie Callender’s restaurant.

Iriarte appeared before Judge Jacquelyn Duffy on Friday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court in an orange jumpsuit, and he was appointed a new lawyer, Jeffrey Radding.

Radding said he’s reviewing the case as his client considers withdrawing his plea, which carries a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

Iriarte previously was represented by Ron Crawford, who was also a court-appointed attorney.

As the case stands now, Iriarte is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 5.

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