Valley News -

Arraignment set for probationer accused of killing Lake Elsinore man in head-on crash


Last updated 8/15/2019 at 3:05pm

MURRIETA - A probationer accused of driving drunk and causing a head-on collision that killed a 67-year-old Lake Elsinore man is slated to be arraigned later this month on a second-degree murder charge.

Jose Luis Montejo, 22, was arrested Sunday morning after allegedly fatally injuring Barry Blunt in the area of Grand Avenue and Vail Street, in a community known as Lakeland Village, just west of Lake Elsinore.

Montejo made his initial court appearance Wednesday and was appointed a public defender by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Stephen Gallon, who scheduled the defendant's arraignment for Aug. 28 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

He's being held on $1 million bail at the nearby Byrd Detention Center.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig, the head-on collision happened about 2:30 a.m. Sunday

Lassig said that Montejo was headed north on Grand in a 2006 Buick Rendezvous when Blunt approached from the opposite direction, headed southbound, in a restored 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle.

"(Montejo) made an unsafe turning movement to the left, causing his SUV to travel into the southbound traffic lane, directly in front of the Chevelle,'' Lassig said. "The suspect's unsafe turning movement caused the front of his vehicle to collide with the front of the Chevelle.''

Riverside County Fire Department paramedics arrived within a few minutes and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

Montejo was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where he was treated for minor to moderate injuries, then booked into jail.

According to court records, he has a prior misdemeanor conviction for DUI.

State law permits the filing of a murder charge against a convicted drunken driver, who knowingly drove while inebriated and caused a fatality.


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