Jury finds driver guilty of murder for 2017 Concord DUI that killed two kids
MARTINEZ, Calif. (KTVU) - A jury found Lemuel Wilson, 36, guilty of murder on Friday for his role in a 2017 DUI hit-and-run accident that killed two boys in Concord.
A jury at the Contra Costa County courthouse in Martinez deliberated less than 24 hours and reached a verdict before noon on Friday, one day after closing arguments wrapped up in the case.
“I’m just happy, that’s all,” Aida Reyes, the mother of the two boys killed, said.
Reyes has waited nearly two years for justice for her sons. In 2017, she was driving home from a movie with her three boys when their car was hit by Wilson. Police said he veered off the Solano Way exit ramp on westbound Highway 4 in Concord. Reyes' 10-year-old son Lorenzo and 5-year-old son Vincent were killed. Upon hearing the guilty verdict, Reyes said she felt “like justice was served.”
A jury found Wilson guilty of two counts of second degree murder, driving under the influence and causing injury within 10 years of a prior DUI offense, and leaving the scene of an accident. Wilson had a prior DUI conviction in 2011. His attorney argued the case was overcharged and his family members said he was not drunk.
“He knows the feeling of losing a child. He lost a child 12 months before this happened. It’s just not fair,” Ingera Barr, Wilson’s family member, said.
Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts said he was surprised the jury came back with a verdict so quickly.
“When someone is killed in a DUI, especially by a recidivist drunk driver, it’s so hard for people wrap their head around because it’s so random. It’s so sudden and unexpected,” Butts said. “The healing will never fully occur completely, but at least at this stage, the justice that [the family] can receive from this process will conclude.”
Reyes was injured in the accident, but survived along with her youngest son who was an infant at the time of the accident.
Wilson will be sentenced on May 31. He faces more than 40 years to life in prison.