• Trial Begins Monday in Double Deaths after Drunken Driving

    Stuart Elder, Booking Photo

    Stuart Elder, Booking Photo

    Jury selection will begin Monday, Jan. 26 in the long-delayed trial of Stuart Elder, 31, a Pacific Grove contractor accused of “gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated” in the deaths of two women in April, 2013.

    Elder was the driver of an SUV which killed Linda LaRone, 65 and Sharon Daly, 72 in a head-on collision near Sloat Road and Bird Rock Road in Pebble Beach. He is also facing special enhancements for causing great bodily injury to his passenger, Selvia Gattas, 20.

    Elder also suffered minor injuries.

    LaRone and Daly were the founders of Stone’s Pets in Pacific Grove. They were pronounced dead at the scene. Daly, the driver of the other car, had also been drinking prior to the accident but her blood alcohol level has not been disclosed.

    The trial was first delayed when one of Elder’s defense attorneys, Anthony Bryan, tried to prove that the blood draw and chemical test on Elder were a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, as he was under arrest when the tests were performed. The court found with the prosecuting attorney, Meredith Sillman, that the officer who performed the tests was within the law.

    Another delay had to do with as pre-trial motion by the defense to determine whether the accident scene itself was a contributing factor. That motion was also denied.

    Elder, who is out on $430,000 bail, could be sentenced to up to 15 years if convicted. He has no prior convictions for drunken driving, though he has more than a dozen citations in the last 10 years leading up to the fatal crash.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 24, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News, Police Log

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