• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Man pleads not guilty in pitcher's death

June 8, 2009 7:58:30 AM PDT
The man accused in a crash that killed an Angels pitcher and two of his friends has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges stemming from the crash.Several family members and friends of the victims were in the courtroom as Andrew Thomas Gallo, 22, entered his not guilty plea. Gallo is charged with three counts of murder, hit-and-run and drunken driving.

Police said Gallo was speeding when he ran a red light, slamming into car and killing rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart, 20-year-old Courtney Stewart and 25-year-old Henry Pearson, in Fullerton on April 9. Adenhart, 22, had pitched six scoreless innings for the Angels hours earlier.

A fourth person in the car, 24-year-old Jon Wilhite, was critically injured in the accident. Wilhite is a former catcher for Cal State Fullerton's baseball team.

Wilhite attended Monday's arraignment, but is reportedly still recovering the injuries.

Gallo was on probation for a prior drunk-driving conviction, and authorities said his blood-alcohol level on the night of the fatal accident was nearly three times the legal limit.

Gallo's attorney, Randall Longwith, said he will seek a change of venue for his client.

"I just think the emotion here, it is so heated here, specifically in Orange County, Fullerton even more so," he said. "I don't think in any way we can get a fair trial here."

Deputy District Attorney Susan Price said she has not seen such a request.

"If we get one, we're prepared to respond to it. It certainly won't be the first change of venue motion that we've received here in Orange County, and we're prepared to deal with it if necessary," she said.

Gallo, who is being held on $2 million bail, will be back in court on July 31 for a hearing to set a trial date.

Report Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Most Popular
Follow @abc7 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook


Load Comments