Crime

Cameron Oliver arraigned on murder charges in drunk driving crash

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A high profile case in Santa Maria was heard this morning. 25-year-old Cameron Oliver was arraigned on two counts of murder. Prosecutors say Oliver was driving drunk earlier this month and crashed a car, killing two Santa Maria women inside. 

"We'll get a chance to read all the discovery, review it with Mr. Oliver and make a decision on what direction we're going as far as a defense goes," Oliver's attorney Addison Steele said. 

KCOY 12 was there in the courtroom. Oliver's parents and the victim's family were also there in the courtroom - they did speak to each other, appearing to be civil.

Oliver is accused of driving drunk on February 6th and crashing a 2016 Lexus sedan around 1:30 am.
The CHP says Oliver was driving at a high rate of speed in the rain, made an unsafe turning movement and lost control of the vehicle as it was heading northbound on Highway 135 toward Santa Maria.

The car left the highway, crashed into a fence and concrete bench, rolled over and wound up in the middle of Orcutt Road.

The deadly collision killed two passengers, 37-year-old Leann Stauffer and 37-year-old Tricia Jensen, who died a day later from injuries suffered in the crash.

Stauffer was Oliver's girlfriend. She leaves behind two children. Jensen leaves behind three children.
The fourth person in the car suffered minor injuries. Oliver, was treated for a seatbelt abrasion.

He's due back in court on March 6th for a Further Arraignment. He remains in jail with no bail. He also has a domestic violence probation violation.

This also isn't the first time he's faced drunk driving charges. He was convicted of drunk driving in San Diego back in 2014. He's being held with no bail because it was recently revealed that he fled to Mexico prior to that 2014 drunk driving conviction.

"My position is that everyone has a right to bail," Steele said. 

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office announced murder charges last week against Oliver in connection with the fatal crash on Feb. 6.

"The biggest issue is that because he's charged with 2nd degree murder and that carries an exposure of 15 years to life that the bail schedule is a million dollars," Steele said. 

Oliver is charged with two counts of murder, and a felony violation of driving with a Blood Alcohol Content greater than .08% causing bodily injury to Brian Freeborn, 38, of Santa Maria, the fourth person involved in the crash.

"Special allegations include a blood alcohol content exceeding .15% in violation of Vehicle Code section 23578; driving at least 30 mph in excess of the posted speed limit in violation of Vehicle Code section 23582; and having previously been convicted of a DUI offense in violation of Vehicle Code section 23540," said the District Attorney's Office in a statement.

In filing these additional charges, the DA's office also stated, "Driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance can cause death. When specific factual and legal circumstances are alleged to have occurred the driver will be charged with murder."

During the arraignment, Oliver's attorney Addison Steele shielded Oliver from the media's cameras that were allowed in the courtroom.

He also asked that cameras not be allowed because his client was in a jail uniform and not dressed in civilian clothing - arguing that it's prejudicial to have Oliver photographed in handcuffs and a jail jumpsuit. 


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