A Livermore man was sentenced Friday to 30 years to life for killing a mother and her baby in a drunk-driving crash in Livermore in 2015.
Brian Jones, 39, was convicted last Nov. 13 of two counts of second-degree murder for causing the deaths of 46-year-old Esperanza Morales-Rodriguez of Seaside and her 14-month-old daughter, Ulidia Perez-Morales, on May 2, 2015.
Prosecutors and police said Jones lost control of his car while driving under the influence of alcohol and killed Morales-Rodriguez and her daughter when he crashed into an apartment complex in the 900 block of Murrieta Boulevard just before 6:50 p.m. that day.
Police said debris from the crash also struck two boys ages 6 and 7, who were taken to a hospital for treatment.
In addition to the two murder counts, Jones was convicted of felony driving while intoxicated for injuring the 7-year-old boy.
Livermore police said Jones had attended the Livermore Wine Country Festival before the collision and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said his blood-alcohol content was 0.14%, well above the legal limit for drinking and driving.
O'Malley said Jones was under the influence of alcohol as he drove his car at speeds ranging from 75 mph to 99 mph through residential streets in Livermore.
Jones' lawyer Ernie Castillo asked that Jones be allowed to serve his two second-degree convictions concurrently for a total of only 15 years to life but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Paul Delucchi ruled that Jones should serve them consecutively for a total of 30 years to life.
Castillo said after the sentencing that Delucchi acknowledged that Jones genuinely is remorseful for what he did and that a parole board should take that under consideration when he's eligible for parole.
Castillo said Jones has an appellate lawyer lined up to seek a new trial based on the defense's contention that there was juror misconduct during his trial late last year.
Delucchi ruled before Jones' trial began that the prosecution couldn't tell jurors that Jones has a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated in Sacramento County in 2003 because that information would be prejudicial.
But Castillo said that when a female juror told other jurors during deliberations that she would vote to convict Jones of gross vehicular manslaughter instead of second-degree murder, another female juror, in an attempt to get her to change her mind, told her in front of the entire panel about Jones' prior conviction.
Castillo said Delucchi dismissed the juror who disclosed Jones' prior conviction but he also dismissed the juror who had reported that juror's comments.
Castillo said he believes "jurors used external information to deliberate, which is a violation of fundamental principles of constitutional law and the right to a fair trial."
In his closing argument in the case, Castillo admitted that what Jones did was irresponsible but said he should only be convicted of the lesser charge of gross vehicular manslaughter because he believes Jones didn't intend to kill anyone.