The Sacramento man arrested on suspicion of driving with a blood-alcohol level four times the legal limit and killing another driver on Highway 50 Sunday was the chef who ran the kitchen at Paragary’s restaurant in midtown.
Paragary’s owner Randy Paragary and other restaurant officials did not respond to requests for comment or confirmation that Joseph Short, 34, was an employee of the restaurant. But Short’s Facebook page lists his job as chef de cuisine at Paragary’s. A chef de cuisine is the main chef supervising the kitchen.
Last week, Short’s name was listed on the restaurant’s menu posted on its website. His name was removed sometime after Sunday’s accident. The Sacramento Bee could not confirm whether Short was working Sunday.
Short was arraigned Tuesday in connection with the death of a man who stopped to help his stranded wife on Highway 50. His bail was increased to $1.5 million from $310,000, at the request of Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Clark, who noted that Short’s blood-alcohol content was 0.35, more than four times the legal limit of 0.08.
Clark told Sacramento Superior Court judge Geoffrey Goodman that authorities received several calls Sunday reporting that a driver was weaving in and out of lanes on Highway 50 before Short tried to pass on the shoulder and crashed into David Condell’s car, killing Condell in a four-car accident. Condell, 51, was pronounced dead at 5:55 p.m. Sunday.
Short, who faces three counts, including vehicular manslaughter, pleaded no contest in 2010 to a charge of driving under the influence, according to Sacramento Superior Court records. Clark said Short’s blood alcohol content was 0.36 in that incident.
Short stood in the center of the bare courtroom cell before Goodman in his jail-issued orange uniform, his hands folded behind him. He glanced briefly at family members seated in a row toward the rear of the gallery before his privately retained attorney Daniel Olsen addressed the court. Olsen did not comment after the proceedings. Short’s family declined to speak with a reporter through a representative.