Visalia man convicted in DUI killing mother, child

(Rigo Moran)

David Edma faces murder and DUI charges after a deadly collision claims two lives and injures a family

VISALIA — A jury at the Tulare County Superior Court delivered a guilty verdict on Monday against Visalia resident David Edma, 29, finding him responsible for a DUI crash that resulted in the death of an expectant mother and her unborn baby in June 2018.

Edma, previously convicted of DUI in 2017, was under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of .24% at the time of the accident.

(Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.)

The tragic incident occurred on the evening of June 15, 2018, when California Highway Patrol officers were called to the scene of a head-on collision on SR 63 south of Ave 392 near Cutler. Edma was discovered unconscious in his vehicle, which had crashed into a family car carrying a pregnant woman, her husband and their three children.

The mother, 20 weeks pregnant, was immediately transported to a Fresno medical facility, where she and her baby were pronounced dead. The husband and children suffered serious injuries, including broken bones and internal trauma.

Evidence presented at the trial included the discovery of a beer can in Edma’s vehicle and his high blood alcohol content at the time of the crash. The jury convicted Edma of two counts of second-degree murder, acknowledging the aggravating factors of causing great bodily injury, using a deadly weapon (his car) and his previous DUI conviction. Additionally, Edma was found guilty of felony DUI causing bodily injury to the surviving family members, driving with a suspended license and unlawful vehicle operation.

This conviction underscores the severe consequences of driving under the influence, highlighted by Edma’s prior acknowledgment of the risks through a Watson Admonishment received during his sentencing for the 2017 DUI offense.

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