May 18, 2012
CONTACT PERSON:
Angela Bernhard, Deputy District Attorney
Homicide Unit
(408) 792-2820         MAN IN DRUNKEN CRASH CONVICTED IN MURDER OF SIX-YEAR-OLD   A San Jose man was convicted Thursday, May 17, 2012 for drunkenly crashing his truck into a minivan three years ago, killing a six-year-old boy who was with his family on the way home from church.   It was Gary Westover’s fourth drunk driving crash.   After a three week trial, Westover, 40, was found guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court of second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. His next court date will be on June 29th.  He faces 22 years to life in prison.   “Time and time and time again, this man was given powerful and personal lessons in the dangers of drinking and driving,” Angela Bernhard, who prosecuted the case, said.  “Time and time and time again, he stubbornly ignored those lessons. This time, Isaac Young had to pay with his life.”
    
On February 3, 2009, the Young family was on its way home from night service and bible study at the Light of the World Apostolic Cathedral, where Isaac’s mother was a pastor.   Intoxicated and at the wheel of his large pickup on his way home, Westover sped through a red light and crashed into the Young’s minivan, flipping it on its side. Strapped in a booster seat, Isaac Young was killed instantly. Isaac’s mother was critically injured. His father and eight-year-old brother were also hurt.   Westover had three previous DUI crashes. In 1990, he smashed head-on into a parked car.
In 1997, he crashed his speeding car into a woman waiting in her car at a red light. Westover’s  three–year-old son and another child were in his back seat. In 1999, Westover rear-ended a car in Livermore driven by a mother on her way to pick up her kids in day care. Responding police found an open can of beer that had been disguised as a Pepsi.  In the last two cases, Westover completed mandatory DUI educational classes.   The cement mason was tried for Young’s death in late 2010.  After a three-week trial, that jury convicted Westover for a DUI causing injury. But the jury could not agree on the murder charge. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office retried the murder case, resulting in this week’s conviction.
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