The California Office of the Attorney General has filed felony murder and DUI manslaughter charges against a Lompoc man who crashed head-on into another driver on Highway 1 last month.
Bryan Paul Charette is charged with the following counts in connection to the Sept. 21 fatal crash: murder, DUI vehicular manslaughter and DUI with over .08 percent blood alcohol content, causing great bodily injury to Alfredo Garcia Martinez, of Oxnard.
According to witness statements obtained by the California Highway Patrol, Charette was traveling northbound in his Honda sedan on Highway 1, south of Jalama, at high speeds while making unsafe passing movements over the double yellow line. Just before 7:30 p.m., he crashed into Martinez, who was driving a Nissan pickup truck. Martinez died at the scene.
Charette also faces a misdemeanor for reckless driving, causing great bodily injury to Martinez, and is accused of driving his car at least 30 mph over the maximum speed limit on the freeway at the time of the crash.
The complaint, filed Oct. 10, further alleges that Charette has a prior felony DUI conviction in the county of Santa Barbara in May 2007.
Charette's first arraignment was Wednesday morning in Lompoc Superior Court but was continued to Friday morning.
While the case is being heard in Santa Barbara County, Deputy Attorney General Seth McCutcheon from the California Office of the Attorney General is prosecuting Charette. The appointment was made after the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office declared a conflict in the matter.
"Sometimes, conflicts arise in a case when there are familial relationships between suspects or victims and people within the District Attorney's Office," explained Chief Deputy District Attorney Mag Nicola.