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Jury faces tough task during deliberations over driver whose truck fell from the Coronado Bridge

Analysts see difficulty in finding clear verdict
Posted at 7:44 AM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 11:01:50-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As deliberations continue in the trial of Richard Sepolio, a legal expert says the jury will have a difficult time coming to a consensus on a verdict.

Sepolio faces 13 charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, and DUI after his car flew off the Coronado Bridge and landed on a crowd of people in Chicano Park. Four people died and seven others were severely injured in the crash.

Sepolio admits he had been drinking that morning, but multiple blood alcohol content tests came back with varying results.

Lawyer Aleida Wahn, who has been following the case, says the jury will ultimately have to decide which of the test results they believe.

"The seminal issue is whether or not Richard Sepolio was under the influence of alcohol," Wahn says.

She notes, however, that the jury doesn't need to see a .08 blood test to return a guilty verdict. They have to think the alcohol in his system affected Sepolio's driving.

"There's a section in the vehicle code that says if you drive under the influence you can still be convicted," she explains. "You don't need a specific number."

Wahn also says this will be a difficult case for the jury because of how many options they have when it comes to a verdict.

"The jury was given a verdict form that's 43 pages long," says Wahn. "Richard Sepolio is charged with 13 counts. They have to go through all these different counts. And within the counts, they have the main count, but the judge has also given them lesser crimes he can be found guilty of."

Wahn also says this case won't end when a verdict comes out. She believes there will be appeals. She also says the victims' families can file Civil Lawsuits against Sepolio.