Driver pleads guilty to murder for running down mother of 3

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Joshua Daniel Taylor (l) and Rocio Leamon (r)

SAN DIEGO — A repeat DUI offender who drove drunk and fatally struck a mother of three who was out for a walk near Cowles Mountain pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday.

Joshua Daniel Taylor will be sentenced April 19 to 15 years to life in state prison in the Aug. 13 death of 38-year-old Rocio Leamon.

Deputy District Attorney Steven Schott said Leamon was walking to Cowles Mountain on Aug. 13 when she stopped at the intersection of Navajo Road and Golfcrest Drive and pushed the button to wait for the walk sign.

Fifteen seconds after the victim entered the intersection, Taylor drove through it against a red light — going between 44-59 mph in a 50 mph zone — striking Leamon and carrying her 57 feet before she landed face-down on the pavement, the prosecutor alleged. She was pronounced dead 30 minutes later.

Taylor — who has prior DUI convictions from 1996 and 2000 — had a blood-alcohol content of .23 percent,  nearly triple the legal limit, an hour after the accident, Schott said.


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