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Drunk American hit and run driver charged with murder after police discover multiple DUI convictions

'Implied malice' in collision say police - as driver has previous conviction and should know better...

A driver in the USA has been charged murder after hitting and killing a cyclist.

Neil Storm Stephany, 23, of Huntington Beach was arrested following a hit and run in which he was thought to have driven a Toyota Tacoma vehicle that hit cyclist Shaun Eagleson, 30 on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Eagleson sustained critical injuries and later died in hospital.
Stephany has also been charged with hit and run, driving under the influence, and drug possession.

“The driver of the truck fled the scene without stopping to render aid,” as statement from Newport Police reported.

Upon investigation, police found that Stephany had a prior conviction for driving under the influence, to which he pleaded guilty and was convicted of driving with an illegal blood alcohol in 2011.

“In California, a previous DUI conviction, and the subsequent required alcohol education, is considered an adequate indicator to suggest ‘implied malice’ in subsequent DUI arrests involving the death of another party,” the NBPD statement said.

As a result the charges Stephany faced were adjusted to include a murder charge.

Court records showed that Stephany has a history of drug, alcohol, assault and vehicle violations dating back to 2009, and in 2010 pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

In March 2013, he was charged with assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, possession of an opium pipe and/or controlled substance paraphernalia, and a sentencing enhancement of inflicting great bodily harm. He pleaded guilty to the first two violations and the others were dismissed.

In December 2013, Stephany was charged with making criminal threats and assault. Both were dismissed.
In September, a restraining order was granted against Stephany due to domestic violence, according to Orange County court records.

Other violations included driving a vehicle with material on windshield obstructing or reducing driver’s view and driving a vehicle without a license.

The first hearing of the case will be on November 14th and Stephany was refused bail.

In California mandatory sentencing for murder convictions ranges from 15 years in jail to the death penalty or life without parole.

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