MORENO VALLEY: Felon who killed man in drunken crash pleads guilty

BANNING – A convicted felon who killed a man in an alcohol-fueled collision just east of Moreno Valley is set to be sentenced later this month after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence.
Nicholas Baron White of Perris, 32, killed 50-year-old Rafael Castillo of La Puente in 2015 when he slammed into the victim’s Subaru on Gilman Springs Road.
During a pretrial conference before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jorge Hernandez on Friday, the prosecution and defense announced that a plea agreement had been reached in the case, under which White admitted the manslaughter charge and a sentence-enhancing allegation of causing multiple injuries in a DUI wreck.
Hernandez also tossed out a second-degree murder charge against White, as well as several sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegations.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Feb. 16 at the Banning Justice Center. White is being held without bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
According to the California Highway Patrol, shortly before 11 p.m. on July 15, 2015, White was driving his Chevrolet Impala eastbound on Gilman Springs, approaching Alessandro Boulevard, well over the speed limit when he allowed his vehicle to drift into opposing traffic lanes.
A 41-year-old Fontana man at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer was going westbound and saw the Impala coming at him, prompting him to swerve to the right. The CHP stated that the Impala sideswiped the Lancer, leaving the driver and his two passengers with moderate injuries.
Castillo was driving his Subaru Legacy close behind the Mitsubishi and was struck head-on by White’s vehicle, according to investigators.
Castillo was killed on the spot. His front seat passenger suffered moderate injuries and was transported, along with the occupants of the Lancer, to Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley for treatment.
They have all since recovered.
White suffered minor injuries and was treated at the hospital before being taken to jail.
According to court records, he has prior convictions for grand theft, possession of controlled substances, vehicle theft and hit-and-run resulting in injuries.

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