3x drunk driver convicted of murder in vehicular death of Yountville man

A man who was driving drunk when he struck and killed a Yountville man in 2020 has been convicted of second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter, according to the Napa County District Attorney's Office.   

Mauricio Ramirez Aguilar, 40, was driving a pickup truck southbound on state Highway 29 at a high rate of speed on Oct. 17, 2020 when he collided with a Nissan Pathfinder containing Constantine Tsavalas, 87, killing him.   

An investigation showed that Aguilar had been driving with a blood alcohol content of .204 percent, almost three times the legal limit. He was also driving about 86 mph or more at the time of the crash.   

He was found guilty by a jury after a 12-day trial. Aguilar has two prior DUI convictions, both of which involved collisions as well, according to prosecutors. 

One in 2019 involved first responders pulling him from his burning car after he was found unconscious behind the wheel after driving into a power pole in front of the California Highway Patrol office in Napa.   

During each previous sentence he received for DUI, Aguilar was given a Watson Admonition, which is a warning to someone who has been convicted of drinking and driving, advising them that they put peoples' lives at risk when they drink and drive, and if they do so and kill someone, they can be charged with murder.   

Aguilar is scheduled to be sentenced on June 12.