Man pleads not guilty to murder in P.B. fatal hit-runFebruary 11, 2009 No Comments
By Dana Littlefield, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 5:26 p.m.
SAN DIEGO – A 45-year-old man accused of drunken-driving and hitting a pedestrian in Pacific Beach, causing her death, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other felony charges.
Alan Mabrey is charged with killing Emily Cathleen Dowdy, 24, a shift supervisor at a Pacific Beach Starbucks. He had been in San Diego for only a few days before the incident, prosecutors said.
In addition to murder, Mabrey faces charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run causing death and driving under the influence.
When arguing for a high bail amount during Mabrey’s arraignment hearing, Deputy District Attorney Patty Herian told the judge the defendant’s blood alcohol level measured .22 percent after the collision. The state’s legal limit is .08 percent.
According to the prosecutor, Mabrey was driving a 2004 Dodge pickup Saturday evening when he struck Dowdy as she crossed Mission Boulevard at Reed Avenue. A male passenger in the truck got out to help the victim, who lay bleeding in the street.
Mabrey fled on foot. About an hour later, he returned to the collision site. The passenger in the truck pointed Mabrey out to authorities, the prosecutor said.
Mabrey told police he had gone to a nearby Burger King and had a meal.
Dozens of family members, friends and co-workers attended the arraignment carrying photos of Dowdy. Some depicted her in happier times, traveling last summer in England and Scotland. They were contrasted by others of her in a La Jolla hospital connected to machines that were helping her breathe after she was run over.
“Her eyes sparkled all the time; she was incredible,” her mother Ellie Dowdy said with tears in her eyes outside the courtroom.
She said her daughter moved from Orlando, Fla., nearly two years ago because she wanted to live in San Diego. The mother described Emily Dowdy as a poet, writer and artist with whom she shared “an incredible bond.”
To cope with her grief, Ellie Dowdy said she’s clinging to her faith. “I’m a believer,” she said. “God has asked me to walk in a place I don’t understand.”
Mabrey has five previous convictions for drunken driving in Dallas County, Texas, two of which were felonies. After the latest conviction in 1999, he served five years in prison, the prosecutor said.
He also has a 2006 conviction for false imprisonment in Colorado.
San Diego Superior Court Judge David M. Szumowski set Mabrey’s bail at $2 million and appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent him.
If convicted of second-degree murder, he could be sent to prison for 15 years to life. Another seven to nine years could be added to the sentence if he is convicted of the other charges.
Source: SignOnSanDiegoAssault, Drunk Drivers, Hit and Run