An Escondido man accused of driving drunk and crashing his pickup truck into an Escondido home, leaving a man seriously injured, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony DUI charges.
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Brandon David Morris, 23, faces up to four years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Laurie Hauf.
Morris -- who lives in Escondido but works in Temecula -- is charged with DUI causing injury and driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher.
"He's extremely remorseful," said Morris' attorney, Michael Littman, who told reporters Morris cried as he spoke about the crash. "He feels horrible about what happened. He would like to do anything he can to help the victims out."
The defendant, who has a DUI conviction from March of last year, also faces multiple victim and great bodily injury allegations.
"Is he a danger to the community? Obviously, there's a lot of people who feel that way and that's why he wants to get help for any kind of drinking problem that he could have," said Littman.
Vista Superior Court Marshall Hockett ordered Morris held on $402,500 bail.
The defendant was driving eastbound on Country Club Lane about 7:30 p.m. last Thursday when his truck struck a curb, ran over an electrical transformer and crashed through the back patio of the home, which sits on Eveningside Glen, Albergo said.
A 14-year-old girl inside the home suffered minor injuries, but her 44-year-old stepfather, Tony Vidaurri, was outside and was pinned under the pickup, said Escondido police Lt. Tom Albergo.
Firefighters extricated the injured man from the wreckage and transported him to a hospital with a broken leg, concussion and serious facial injuries. Two other family members inside the condo were not injured.
The crash occurred one day after Morris' 23rd birthday. His attorney was surprised to learn about the post on Morris' Facebook page that read: "Who wants to get f*****d up with me today? Buy me a beer."
"That is not a good thing, obviously
I'm not making excuses for him, but his birthday does play into this," Littman told reporters, indicating that drinking was not a daily habit for Morris.
Morris will be back in court on March 14 for a readiness conference and April 3 for a preliminary hearing.
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