The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office this afternoon charged a Santa Rosa man with murder for a solo-vehicle crash that killed a Saint Helena man in Rohnert Park on Friday. Rafael Prieto-Gonzalez, 23, did not enter a plea in Sonoma County Superior Court.
He is being held under no bail in the Sonoma County jail and will return to court Monday. Prieto-Gonzalez lost control of a 2000 Ford Explorer on northbound Commerce Boulevard around 8 p.m. Friday evening, the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety said. The SUV slammed broadside into a tree, killing passenger Abel Acosta, 44, of Saint Helena. Witnesses said the driver fled the vehicle and hid in a nearby neighborhood.
Rohnert Park public safety officers found Prieto-Gonzalez who had injuries consistent with a crash, Sgt. Aaron Johnson said. Prieto-Gonzalez was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was taken to a hospital before he was booked in the Sonoma County jail. Prieto-Gonzalez has a prior DUI conviction, Deputy District Attorney Anne Masterson said.
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