Courtroom gavel
A courtroom gavel. File photo

A 71-year-old man was convicted this week of second-degree murder and other charges for driving drunk and fatally striking a highway worker in Jamul.

Arnold Lee Patton was found guilty by an El Cajon jury on Thursday for the Dec. 16, 2020, crash that killed 27-year-old Jesus Gonzalez. The victim was struck at about 10 p.m. on westbound state Route 94 near Cougar Canyon Drive. He was taken to a hospital, where he died a few hours later.

Prosecutors allege Patton was speeding along the highway prior to striking Gonzalez in a coned-off construction zone.

Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans said Patton’s blood-alcohol level was about .17%, which is more than twice the legal driving limit in California.

Along with the charges related to Gonzalez’s death, Patton was also convicted of DUI counts stemming from an unrelated DUI that occurred about six months prior to the fatality.

He faces up to 15 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced next month.

City News Service contributed to this article.