A former high school basketball coach was in Fresno County Court on Monday for a preliminary hearing. He's accused of vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence. His blood alcohol level was 0.11.
Several police officers who responded to the accident took the stand. The defense is not disputing the fact that Loren LeBeau was drinking and driving or that he hit the victims, but it is disputing gross negligence.
It's been exactly seven months since the tragic accident that killed a seven year old boy. Donovan Maldonado was riding his bike at night, through a crosswalks. He, along with his father and baby sister, were hit by a car driven by LeBeau. The defendant's attorney, Jeff Hammerschmidt, says LeBeau made some mistakes, but in the end tried to do the right thing.
"At most, under applicable law, the level of negligence was ordinary rather than gross negligence," said Hammerschmidt.
A strong of Fresno police officers testified in court about what they saw that night.
"We could see the trail of blood and um, other I guess tissue marks along the roadway in that general vicinity," said Jeremy Maffei, a traffic officer.
One of the most chilling tales came from the officer who interviewed Donovan's mother. She witnessed everything, including Donovan's body being dragged underneath the car the length of about three football fields.
"[Donovan's mother] indicated that the vehicle was at Shepard began making a right turn onto Perrin from Shepard, and as it did so, she observed Donovan's body come out from under the vehicle," said Maffei.
After initially leaving the scene, LeBeau came back and admitted fault. He told officers he drank four Corona beers from noon to 5pm and Bass Lake. He ate dinner and was on his way home. The officer who arrested LeBeau for DUI says he was shaken up and kept asking about the boy he hit.
"LeBeau was pacing back and forth. He appeared to be physically upset. I saw tears coming from his eyes, he was crying, and he again asked me if everyone was ok," said Eric Castillo of the Fresno Police Department.
The preliminary hearing will continue Tuesday morning.