SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Raymond Morua completed part of his sentence Friday, taping a public service announcement against drunk driving.
Morua received a sentence of 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to driving the vehicle that struck and killed Mallory Dies, 27, as she crossed a downtown Santa Barbara street last December. Morua left the scene, eventually crashing his car. When he was arrested, his blood alcohol level tested well above the legal limit. Dies never recovered from the accident and passed away a few days later.
Morua was an aide to Congresswoman Lois Capps at the time of the accident. On the night he hit Dies, Morua had attended a media holiday party and consumed alcohol before the accident on Anacapa Street. At his sentencing, Morua claimed he was representing the congresswoman when he attended the event, rebutting claims from Capps that he was off duty. The distinction is important because Dies' family can only file a legal claim against Capps' office if Morua was considered to be working at the time of the accident.
On Friday Morua was seen as he was escorted under guard into the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's department to tape the public service announcement, which was part of his sentencing. Producers of the taping did not allow news cameras in to record it. The sheriff's department refused a media request to interview Morua.
Soon, Morua will begin serving his sentence and will be transferred to the Wasco State Prison northwest of Bakersfield.