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Felon Jailed for Killing Woman in Drunk Driving Collision in Riverside

Felon Jailed for Killing Woman in Drunk Driving Collision in Riverside

File photo of a judge's gavel. (Shutterstock)

City News Service

City News Service

7/15/2023

Updated: 7/15/2023

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—A convicted felon who killed a 65-year-old woman while driving drunk in Mead Valley was bound for state prison on July 14 to serve a sentence of 25 years to life after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and other charges.
Lawrence Michael Dileva, 39, of Nuevo admitted the murder count, along with DUI gross vehicular manslaughter and a sentence-enhancing allegation of being a repeat DUI offender during an appearance on July 12 before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Mr. Dileva’s plea was directly to the judge, and it was opposed by the District Attorney’s Office.
“Our office strongly objected due to the defendant’s prior convictions,” agency spokeswoman Brooke Beare told City News Service.
She said that because Mr. Hollenhorst set aside Mr. Dileva’s prior strikes, instead of factoring them into his sentence, it spared the defendant potential terms of 40 to 55 years to life behind bars, which prosecutors believed was justified.
But the judge overruled the prosecution’s objections, imposing the term of imprisonment he deemed appropriate. The judge signed the defendant’s prison commitment order on July 13.
Mr. Dileva killed Demiris Reid of Nuevo on Jan. 28, 2022 when he caused a three-vehicle crash on Cajalco Road, just east of Carpinus Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Officer Juan Quintero said that the victim was westbound on Cajalco in a Chevrolet Equinox when Mr. Dileva’s Ford Explorer approached from the opposite direction, headed east.
“Mr. Dileva lost control of his vehicle and crossed the double yellow lines, colliding into the Chevy,” Mr. Quintero said.
He said a Honda Civic following close behind the Ford smashed into the rear of the SUV.
County fire crews reached the location, which is roughly two miles northwest of Perris, within a few minutes and extricated Ms. Reid from her car, attempting lifesaving measures, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The defendant was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley for treatment of moderate injuries, from which he soon recovered.
The Honda driver was not injured.
Court records show Mr. Dileva had prior convictions for DUI gross vehicular manslaughter, receiving a stolen vehicle, burglary, and distribution of illegal drugs.
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