Man to stand trial for crash that killed passenger

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BANNING (CNS) – A 25-year-old Perris man accused of killing his passenger and injuring two other people in an alcohol-fueled collision in Hemet must stand trial for second-degree murder and other offenses, a judge ruled today.

Brandon Todd Brassard allegedly killed 23-year-old Timothy Gibbons of Hemet in March 2018.

After a preliminary hearing at the Banning Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst ruled there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the murder count, along with driving under the influence resulting in gross vehicular manslaughter, two counts of DUI with injuries and multiple sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegations.

Hollenhorst scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Nov. 13 at the same courthouse. Brassard is free on $1 million bond.

According to Hemet police Sgt. Dan Reinbolt, Brassard was at the wheel of a Ford Focus that plowed into a Chevrolet Silverado pickup while going through the intersection of Mountain Avenue and Soboba Street on the night of March 24, 2018.

Reinbolt alleged that Brassard caused the wreck because blew through a stoplight while intoxicated.

Brassard’s front seat passenger, Gibbons, was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he died an hour later.

Two people in the pickup were also injured and hospitalized, but have since recovered.

According to court records, Brassard has multiple traffic-related convictions in Riverside County, but no documented prior felony convictions.