SAN DIEGO -- Jury deliberations continued Monday in the case of a man who was allegedly driving drunk when he fatally injured a Lyft driver, who was outside his car helping a sick passenger.
Steven Quintero, 26, pleaded not guilty to murder and other felony charges in 2016.
Prosecutors say Quintero was driving drunk when he hit and killed Henry Reyes of Escondido on October 1, 2016.
Reyes, a 41-year-old Lyft driver and aspiring dentist, had pulled over on the shoulder of the eastbound lanes of state Route 94 because one of his three passengers was sick.
Prosecutors say Quintero slammed into the car from behind and drove off.
The defense attorney argued Quintero should not be charged with murder, adding that Quintero he has a severe learning disability. She said the negligent conduct of driving under the influence killed Reyes, but it was not technically murder.
“Did not act with conscious disregard. Did not have in his heart and in his mind, 'I know that I can cause someone to die and I just don’t care,'" she said.
The prosecutor said Quintero drove drunk despite having a prior DUI offense, showing no regard for human life.
“Find him guilty of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, guilty of driving under the influence and having a .08, hit and run, and finally having a suspended license," said Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright.
Quintero faces 29 years to life in prison if convicted.