A man convicted of crashing his pickup truck over the side of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge while intoxicated, killing four people and injuring several others was denied a motion Monday to have his record expunged, though he will have another opportunity later this summer.
Last year, Richard Anthony Sepolio, 28, was released from prison early after serving two years and 10 months of his nine-year, eight-month sentence stemming form the deadly Oct. 15, 2016, crash.
Prosecutors say he drank alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel and was speeding and attempting to cut off another driver just before his truck careened off the bridge and landed in Chicano Park.
Killed in the crash were Annamarie Contreras, 50, and Cruz Contreras, 52, a married couple from Chandler, Arizona, and Hacienda Heights residents Andre Banks, 49, and Francine Jimenez, 46. Seven other people were seriously injured.
In 2019, Sepolio was convicted by a San Diego jury of four counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of DUI causing injury.
Last fall, Sepolio was released early from state prison, with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation citing “various prison credits for good behavior as well as its policy of releasing inmates early due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a San Diego County District Attorney’s Office statement, a release which District Attorney Summer Stephan called “unconscionable.”
Following his release, Sepolio petitioned to have his record expunged and to be released from parole early. To be granted the motion, Sepolio needs a certification from CDCR confirming he’s eligible for expungement and must have paid all restitution owed to the victims of the crash.
According to prosecutors, Sepolio could not produce that certification in court and has not yet paid all of the restitution, though defense attorney George Gedulin argued some of the victims have received a settlement from Sepolio’s insurance company, precluding him from needing to pay the full restitution.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert F. O’Neill denied the expungement motion without prejudice Monday morning, but an Aug. 6 hearing was set, at which time Sepolio can bring the motion before the court again.
–City News Service