Monday, March 27, 2006

Officer guilty in boating DUI case


Felony conviction means up to 7 years in prison, possible loss of job

A Los Angeles police officer was found guilty Friday of critically injuring a man on a personal watercraft on Lake San Antonio and fleeing to avoid arrest for drunken boating.

David Ernest Guzman, 31, was convicted on all charges, including boating under the influence of alcohol causing injury, and hit-and-run boating, both felonies, as well as a misdemeanor charge of drunken boating.

He was released on $24,000 bail pending sentencing April 28, and forbidden from possessing a firearm. Judge Lydia Villarreal ordered him to transfer possession of his eight registered guns to his father, an investigator with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

The defense said Guzman didn't realize he'd hit someone and wasn't under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, the District Attorney's Office said.

Guzman appeared stunned as he looked back at his sobbing wife, who was holding the couple's 2-year-old son in the courtroom.

Defense attorney Richard Rosen, who is normally loquacious, was left virtually speechless by the verdict.

Sentencing in the case is set for April 28. Guzman faces a maximum of 7 years in state prison.

We will continue to follow this story in th press.


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