Elderly California Man Could Face Life in Prison for Fatal DUI Near Casino
An 86-year-old man is facing between 23 years and life in prison after he was convicted Wednesday of murder and other charges. The case stems from a 2019 pedestrian death outside of Palm Springs, Calif.’s Agua Caliente Casino.
Palm Springs, Calif.’s Agua Caliente Casino, pictured above. A fatal collision outside of the casino has led to the conviction of the driver on several charges. (Image: Agua Caliente Casino)
City News Service, a local news agency, reported Leroy Silva of Palm Springs was found guilty by jurors of killing one woman in the July 2019 deadly collision. A second woman was also injured.
The jury also found Silva guilty of DUI causing bodily injury, DUI causing bodily injury with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.08 percent, sentence-enhancing allegations of causing great bodily injury, as well as two counts of hit-and-run resulting in death or injury. He drove away from the casino after the collision, police said.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dale Wells will likely sentence Silva on Oct. 8. He is currently being held without at bail at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio.
The victim who perished was Connie Clark, 67, of Lemon Grove, Calif. She suffered extensive injuries which later led to her death. The second woman was the same age as Clark.
Both women were crossing the street when Silva drove into them, police said. Silva was arrested a short time after the incident about a mile from the casino. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians owns the Agua Caliente Casino.
Prior Violent Crime
In an unrelated incident at the same casino last October, Palm Springs police officers shot two robbery suspects as they tried to speed away from a parking garage. They had just allegedly robbed a woman in the garage at gunpoint. One of the suspects had a firearm.
The duo approached the victim who was standing by her car. They snuck up behind her, covered her mouth, and placed a gun up to the side of the victim’s body, police said in a Facebook post. They then allegedly grabbed her purse and tried to speed away in their white Honda Accord.
Three police officers were able to block the bandits’ attempted escape path, as their car traveled on a ramp from the second level of the garage to the first, police said.
In the confrontation between officers and the suspects, each of the duo was shot while inside the car, police added. The firearm later was seized by police.
Injuries to the suspects did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. No police officers were injured, the department added.
Suspected Robbers Fail in Earlier Attempts
The same suspects allegedly attempted two other holdups at casinos earlier that same night, police said.
One of the attempted holdups was at the same Palm Springs casino. The bandits then went to Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, where they again attempted a robbery, police said. With that one failing, they returned to the first Palm Springs casino which ended with the confrontation with the police.
The identities of the suspects were not released by local police at the time of their apprehensions. It was not immediately known what happened with court cases against them.
Last September, the Palm Springs Agua Caliente Casino garage was also the site of an attempted murder. Jose Arlando Gomez, 28, pleaded not guilty in that incident, the Desert Sun, a local newspaper, reported.
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