Suspect in Officer's Death Says He Doesn't Recall Crash : Accident: The accused drunk driver is expected to be charged today in La Habra policeman's killing, authorities say.


The suspected drunk driver accused of killing police Officer Michael Anthony Osornio has told investigators he does not remember the fatal car crash Monday night or events leading up to it, authorities said Wednesday.

"It's my understanding he didn't recall any of the incident," said Capt. Terry M. Rammell, who is supervising investigators probing the crash.

Marco Villegas Ramirez, 51, whose blood-alcohol level of .18 was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the Monday night collision, is expected to be formally charged today, Rammell said. Police will recommend that the district attorney's office charge Ramirez with murder, he said.

Ramirez, who suffered facial injuries, remained in stable condition Wednesday at Western Medical Center-Santa Ana.

Osornio's family and colleagues worked on scheduling weekend funeral services for the officer, even as flowers and sympathy cards continued to flow into the La Habra Police Department.

La Habra police announced that memorial services for Osornio on Saturday will include a procession of police vehicles, an honor accorded officers killed in the line of duty. Osornio joined the La Habra Police Department 14 months ago and became engaged to his high school sweetheart two weeks ago.

A public viewing is scheduled for Friday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Calvary Chapel-Golden Springs in Diamond Bar, with burial to follow at Rose Hills Memorial Park.

Osornio is the first officer to be killed on duty since the city incorporated in 1925.

"People are still, rightfully so, extremely upset," Rammell said.

The mystery remains how Ramirez--a man who friends and relatives said seldom drank alcohol and warned against drunk driving--came to be allegedly intoxicated at the wheel of a car that witnesses said was traveling at least 60 m.p.h. when it broadsided Osornio's cruiser.

Rammell said police have not determined where Ramirez had been before the crash at the intersection of Beach and La Habra boulevards. Investigators found no empty cans or bottles in Ramirez's Buick station wagon, or in an office at his La Mirada workplace, where Ramirez has lived the past six months, Rammell said.

Marilyn Lindblade, the owner of the metalwork firm where Ramirez was employed, speculated that he may have been on his way to a favorite restaurant on La Habra Boulevard at the time.

One of Ramirez's sons, who moved from Monterey Park to Hidalgo, Mexico, last fall, on Wednesday backed accounts by friends who said Ramirez was not a drinking man.

"He didn't drink to excess or to get drunk," said Mario Villegas, 25. He said he was unaware of any personal problems that co-workers said were bothering his father in recent months. Villegas said he spoke to his father by telephone Saturday and "everything was fine."

He said Ramirez discussed plans to visit his wife and two grown sons in Hidalgo over the Christmas holidays. "We need to talk to him. We're not sure of the truth," Villegas said.

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