Michael Jason Woodphil, 49, was convicted of a second murder by a jury in El Cahon on August 27, 2018. The jury returned the conviction after less than two hours of deliberation.
Gotel was beaten on Woodside Avenue near Riverford Road at about 6:40 pm and later died in the hospital.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Woodfill was moving east on Northwoodside Avenue near Riverford Road when the truck drifted to the right and hit a wire mesh fence. According to CHP, Woodfill then overcorrected and steered the truck across the opposite lane, attacking the victims.
After hitting Gotel, Woodfill’s truck continued down the dirt embankment and rolled over. He was arrested on the scene.
Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright told the jury that Woodfill was on probation at the time of the crash due to a 2016 conviction of drunk driving. The conviction was associated with Gotel’s death, as prosecutors were advised that if a drunk driving criminal was arrested for another drunk driving in which someone died, he could be charged with murder. I was able to prosecute Woodfill for a second murder.
Prosecutors alleged that the defendant had a .21% blood alcohol content three hours after the collision. This is almost three times the statutory limit in California.
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