Villa sentenced to 22 years in prison

Gerardo Rosales Villa was sentenced by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Patricia Murphy to 22 years in prison for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and with gross negligence, which caused the deaths of Miguel Gallardo, Guillermo Aguiniga, Juan Gallardo, Raul Fletes, and Horacio Sanchez. The sentence was the maximum prison term possible for the crime. Villa was also found guilty of committing the crime after having been previously convicted of driving under the influence in 1999. The driving that led to the deaths of the five victims occurred during the early morning hours of September 13, 2008, on Guiberson Road , between Piru and Fillmore. While driving with approximately twice the legal limit of alcohol and with methamphetamine in his system, Villa drifted over the center line of the two-lane road and struck a utility pole. The pole tore through the vehicle, killing the five passengers instantly, while Villa survived virtually unharmed. The fatal collision was investigated by the California Highway Patrol. (Courtesy of Ventura County District Attorneys Office.)