SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The arrest of a suspect in connection with the death of CHP officer Lucas Chellew has some wondering if the current charges he’s facing are too light.
Alberto Quiroz faces a felony charge of evading an officer, leading to Chellew’s death. The crime is punishable by up to seven years in jail.
Legal experts say a manslaughter charge would be the next highest charge in severity, but prosecutors would have to prove recklessness.
Sacramento defense attorney Michael Wise explains that prosecutors can start with a simple charge they can prove, only to pursue more serious charges later, based on the ongoing investigation.”I suspect they didn’t pursue manslaughter charge because if was a fairly short chase and to prove it they have to prove some sort of
“I suspect they didn’t pursue manslaughter charge because if was a fairly short chase and to prove it they have to prove some sort of mens rea or recklessness,” said Wise. Mens rea is latin for “guilty mind” and refers to the mental state at the time of the alleged crime.
Investigators say Quiroz was riding a stolen motorcycle when he led officer Chellew on a chase that resulted in a violent crash, killing the officer.Quiroz will be arraigned Monday.
Quiroz will be arraigned Monday.