Two-year-old case to be retried

VISTA — The district attorney’s office is retrying a case more than two years after a judge declared a mistrial for the woman accused of a drunken head-on collision that killed two North County couples traveling home from Pala Casino.
Jurors previously deadlocked in favor of guilt that Deanna Fridley, 27, had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol and had been the one driving the vehicle on Highway 76 when the Dec. 14, 2007 accident occurred.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Runston Maino had declared the mistrial on July 6, 2010, but the case is back on calendar again after the prosecutor and defense attorney had a hearing with the judge on Oct. 13.
“A motion hearing is set for November, and a trial begins in January,” said Prosecutor Brenda Daly.
She previously said that a mistrial was disappointing and frustrating.
Fridley is alleged to be the driver of her GMC Yukon at shortly after midnight when it collided with a Toyota Camry and the impact killed two couples inside, who were best friends: Jesus De Santiago, 45, and his wife, Lina De Santiago, 46, of Escondido, and Luiz Baez, 51, and his wife, Rubi Baez, 46, of Vista.
Fridley faces four 15 to life in prison terms if convicted of her charges, which include four counts of murder and gross vehicle manslaughter while intoxicated.
Both Fridley and her passenger Anthony Boles had blood alcohol limits above the state’s legal limit of .08.
A surveillance tape from Pala Casino showed Fridley getting into the driver’s seat just three minutes before a 911 call was made about the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Boles testified, saying he was not behind the wheel that night.
Both Fridley and her attorney James Boyd said Boles was the driver of the vehicle that night, claiming that after the two left the casino they traded places in the vehicle when Fridley realized she was too intoxicated to drive.
Fridley remains in jail on $3 million bail.


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