Costa trial looks to be near its end

PASADENA — A jury is scheduled to reconvene Friday in the trial of the driver of a runaway big rig that killed a 12-year-old girl and her father in a violent crash two years ago in La Cañada Flintridge.

Jurors were sent back to deliberate on charges of involuntary manslaughter for Marcos Costa, 46, after reporting Thursday that they had reached a decision on the two murder charges, but were struggling on the lesser charges, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

They are scheduled to reconvene tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

None of the decisions were announced in the courtroom Thursday.

The Los Angeles County Superior courtroom in Pasadena was packed with supporters of Costa and his family and with friends of the victims, Palmdale resident Angel Posca, 58, and his 12-year-old daughter, Angelina.

County Deputy Dist. Atty. Carolina Lugo has argued Costa acted with willful disregard for human life as he proceeded down Angeles Crest Highway, where the truck's brakes went out, sending it barreling through Foothill Boulevard, striking several cars and crashing into a bookstore.

Costa's defense had portrayed the horrific crash an accident, one that he tried to avoid despite losing control of the big-rig car-hauler.

Thursday marked the beginning of the end of the lengthy trial, which began in late June. Testimony in the proceedings ranged from the scientific to the emotional as witnesses recalled the violent events of the crash.

One of them, Melissa Watkins, the bookstore's inventory manager at the time, testified that she and Costa locked eyes for a brief moment while the 25-ton truck barreled toward the store.

“I saw the horror on his face,” she said. “His eyes were bulging out of his head.”


FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the jury was hung on the murder charges.

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