The fate of the driver charged with murder after his runaway big rig killed a 12-year-old girl and her father in April 2009 in La Cañada Flintridge is in the hands of the jury after attorneys on both sides completed their closing arguments Wednesday afternoon at the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse in Pasadena.
Deputy District Atty. Carolina Lugo told jurors that driver Marcos Costa had acted with willful disregard for human life as he proceeded down Angeles Crest Highway before the brakes on his truck went out and it barreled through Foothill Boulevard, striking several cars and crashing into a bookstore.
On Tuesday, Judge Darrell Mavis explained to the jurors the technical legal conditions required for a guilty finding in the charges of murder, vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving that were brought against Costa.
Defense attorney Edward Murphy attacked each of the charges, accusing Lugo of inaccurately portraying weeks of testimony from a procession of witnesses and insisting Costa had never expressed malice aforethought, the condition of a defendant having either explicit or implied malice in his intent when he acted.