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Big-rig murder trial: Costa guilty of manslaughter

July 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Jurors found the driver of a big-rig who caused a deadly crash in 2009 guilty of manslaughter, among other charges.

Marcos Costa, 46, faced two charges of second-degree murder, two counts of vehicular manslaughter and three counts of reckless driving after the crash that killed Angel Posca and his 12-year-old daughter Angelina. A dozen others were injured.

On the first two counts, the jury found Costa not guilty of murdering Angelina and Angel Posca.

The jury found Costa guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter against Angelina and Angel Posca and personally inflicted great bodily injury on Kyong Kave, another victim.

Costa was found guilty of reckless driving and guilty of reckless driving to Alison Roybal and guilty of reckless driving causing certain injury to Kave.

Pasadena Superior Court Judge Darrell Mavis declared mistrial on special allegations on counts 3 and 4.

  • Count 1: 2nd-degree murder: Not guilty of murdering Angelina Posca
  • Count 2: 2nd-degree murder: Not guilty of murdering Angel Posca
  • Count 3: Vehicular manslaughter - guilty
  • Count 4: Vehicular manslaughter - guilty
  • Count 5: Reckless driving causing specified injury - guilty
  • Count 6: Reckless driving causing specified injury - guilty
  • Count 7: Reckless driving causing specified injury - guilty

Sentencing is scheduled for September 8. Costa faces up to nine years in prison.

Earlier in the day, jurors had told Pasadena Superior Court Judge Darrell Mavis there was nothing else that could be provided to help them reach a verdict regarding the special allegations. The judge ordered jurors back into the deliberating room.

The jury began deliberating on July 21, and on Thursday, the jury foreman told the judge they've reached verdicts on most, but not all, the charges. Jurors were having a tough time reaching a verdict on the lesser crime of involuntary manslaughter.

Judge Mavis instructed the 10-man, two-woman jury to write down any questions it has and those would be addressed in court.

Friday the jury went back into deliberations after Mavis informed them that he could not provide them with much assistance.

"As I have previously instructed you, each of you must decide the case for yourself, and you should do so only after a full and complete consideration of all the evidence with your fellow jurors," he told jurors Friday morning.

Prosecutors said Costa ignored several warnings that his brakes were failing. They said he should have never been on the road.

Defense attorneys said Costa didn't have any warning about the brakes until it was too late. They blame the accident on the lack of a runaway truck ramp in the La Canada Flintridge area.