Crime - Sacto 911

Caudillo in court Thursday in wrong-way crash that killed 3

Aaron Jordon Caudillo is arraigned in January on charges of driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for driving the wrong way down Interstate 80 and killing three young adults from Placer County.
Aaron Jordon Caudillo is arraigned in January on charges of driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for driving the wrong way down Interstate 80 and killing three young adults from Placer County. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Aaron Jordon Caudillo returned to a jailhouse courtroom Thursday on charges in the grisly wrong-way collision on Interstate 80 that killed three Granite Bay young adults in January.

Attorneys on both sides said a resolution in the case could come July 23, when Caudillo will either enter a plea or have a date set for a preliminary hearing in Sacramento Superior Court before Judge Michael Bowman. Caudillo faces three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the deaths of Matthew Azar, 20, Mathew Beardwitt, 18, and Kendra Langham, 18, early Jan. 10 on I-80 near the Madison Avenue exit.

He remains at Sacramento County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office has not extended an offer to Caudillo and the court has not yet indicated a sentence. Still, prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Brian Morgan said he had anticipated resolving the matter at the Thursday hearing.

Morgan said California Highway Patrol investigators released their final report on the fatal wreck to attorneys in May.

“I thought we were going to be able to do that today,” Morgan said outside the courtroom. Caudillo’s counsel John Holbus also said a “possible resolution” could be had at the July 23 hearing.

Authorities alleged Caudillo, 25, was behind the wheel of a black Chrysler 300 sedan, its headlights off, about 2:10 a.m. Jan. 10 when he entered the interstate at Antelope Road. Caudillo was driving west on eastbound I-80 as motorists called 911 to alert CHP officers before colliding head-on into a Buick Regal driven by Azar and carrying Beardwitt and Langham.

Azar, Beardwitt and Langham were heading back to Granite Bay from a rave in Galt when Caudillo’s car slammed into them. The three were pronounced dead at the scene. Caudillo was seriously injured in the collision and spent weeks at a local hospital.

A large bottle of rum was found in Caudillo’s car, authorities said. His blood alcohol content was later measured at 0.14, nearly twice the legal limit.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments