Last month Jurors found Kevin Hogrefe guilty in a DUI murder of Yevhen “Eugene” Kostiuchenko, a Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy. After long-lasting proceedings in a case, jury declared that 27-year-old DUI driver was guilty of second degree murder and felony hit-and-run.
The wife of deceased Deputy, Maura Kelley, filed a civil lawsuit against Kevin Hogrefe. Kelley claim is for compensatory damages and other fees.
An accident took place on October 28, 2014. An intoxicated driver crashed into Yevhen Kostiuchenko near the 101 Freeway and Lewis Road at 1:15 a.m. and drove off. Deputy Kostiuchenko died instantly after being struck by the defendant’s vehicle when walking back to his vehicle after releasing a traffic violator. The driver continued driving with a high rate of speed but crashed his Honda a short distance away from the accident site.
According to the police report, Hogrefe had a blood alcohol level around 0.25 percent. In California a permissible alcohol level in blood can not exceed 0.08 percent for adult non-commercial drivers. The CCTV camera at Pickwick Drive bar captured that right before the accident the defendant drank more than six beer bottles and went to another bar.
Hogrefe had two prior DUI convictions: one in his teens and another in 2013.
Mr. Hogrefe got behind the wheel of his car highly intoxicated and proceeded can caused this car crash killing a police officer.
Yevhen Kostiuchenko was an immigrant from Ukraine. He met his wife while being on assignment with Ukrainian forces. He was in the United States working with FBI on trans-border money laundry case. At that time Ms. Kelley was an FBI agent. Later they fell in love an married with Yevhen moving to the United States and began working at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department in 2003. Yevhen’s family and friends still lament for him.
Kevin Hogrefe is held at Todd Road Jail in Santa Paula and will be sentenced on November 14 at 8:30 a.m. He is likely to receive a sentence of 19 years to life in the prison. Under the law, this is the maximum punishment for this sort of offense in CA.
Separately, Ventura County Superior Court has already calendared a hearing of the civil lawsuit filed by the wife of the deceased on March 3, 2017.
When a driver is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol causing a fatality, he or she can be charged with a second degree murder. A second degree murder accusation occurs when a prosecutor believes that a defendant acted with implied malice and conscious disregard for human’s life. In California a sentence for a second degree murder will be a 15 years to life imprisonment. Felony hit and run can also result in a state prison sentence. Depending on the facts of your case a sentence for a felony hit run can range from probation with no jail time to 4 years in the state prison. If you want to know more about hit and run convictions, visit our page: Punishment for Hit and Run Convictions.
In many criminal defense cases related to DUI murder charges, a good and experienced DUI attorney can help achieve a reduction in charges or even a dismissal by aggressively litigating every element of the offense.
(818) 921 7744 We provide a free DUI case review to discuss your options.