An Orange County jury Wednesday convicted a 27-year-old former Marine of driving drunk, crashing his car and killing three other Marines who were passengers.
Jared Ray Hale faces up to 12 years in prison on a felony count of causing bodily injury while driving under the influence and causing bodily injury with a blood-alcohol concentration greater than 0.08%, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Before the Feb. 14, 2012 crash, Hale and the three other men -- all posted at Camp Pendleton -- had been drinking for hours at Hennessey’s Tavern in Dana Point, prosecutors said.
All four climbed into Hale’s Dodge coupe about 2 a.m. and Hale took the wheel. But as he headed north on Golden Lantern Street, prosecutors say, he lost control, drove over the center median and smashed into a tree.
Jeremiah Callahan, 23, of Nebraska and Christopher Arzola, 21, of Massachusetts died at the scene. Jason Chleborad, 22, of South Dakota died at a nearby hospital hours later.
Hale lost consciousness in the crash and was treated for brain trauma and a fractured arm. About 90 minutes after the crash, his blood-alcohol level was 0.16% -- twice the legal limit, prosecutors said.
Hale is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 30.
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