NewsLocal NewsSan Diego News


San Diego DA protests early release of driver who plummeted off Coronado Bridge, killing four

Posted at 1:01 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 16:03:25-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan is objecting to the early release of a man convicted of driving off the Coronado Bridge and crashing in Chicano Park, killing four people.

Richard Anthony Sepolio, 27, was convicted of four counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of DUI causing injury in the crash on Oct. 15, 2016. He was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison.

He is set to be released early after serving two years and 10 months of his sentence. Monday, the CDCR notified victims in the case of the release, citing prison credits for good behavior and the state's policy on release amid COVID-19.

Stephan wrote a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), calling the release a "miscarriage of justice."

"This very early release is unconscionable," Stephan wrote. "CDCR’s decision is re-victimizing the family and friends of the four people killed and seven injured who have been devastated by their loss and continue to deal with the financial, emotional, mental and physical trauma caused by the defendant. This inmate continues to deny and minimize the crime by refusing to admit he was speeding and denying being impaired while arguing with his girlfriend on the phone, which resulted in the devastating crash."

The crash killed Annamarie Contreras, 50, and Cruz Contreras, 52, of Chandler, Ariz.; and Hacienda Heights residents Andre Banks, 49, and Francine Jimenez, 46. Seven other people were also seriously injured.

Sepolio was traveling between 81 and 87 miles per hour when he lost control and plunged over the bridge, landing in the park below where a motorcycle rally had attracted nearly 1,000 people, according to Stephan. Sepolio had testified that another vehicle would not let him over into the left-hand lane, so he sped up twice to pass before the crash occurred.