A convicted drunken driver who mowed down an 87-year-old Temecula woman and her dog on a sidewalk, fatally injuring both, while under the influence of unspecified prescription drugs pleaded guilty today to DUI gross vehicular manslaughter and other charges.
Prosecutors agreed to drop a second-degree murder charge in exchange for Harry Shane Scholes' plea. Scholes, 58, killed Charlotte Boyce and her dachshund on July 18, 2011.
The plea deal was announced during a status hearing before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Albert Wojcik, who agreed to let plead guilty to manslaughter and sentence-enhancing allegations of inflicting great bodily injury and being a repeat DUI offender.
Wojcik scheduled sentencing for Nov. 22 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
Scholes, who had been locked up without bail, faces more than a dozen years behind bars.
According to sheriff's investigators, Boyce was walking her dog, Lucy, along Via Cordoba when the Scholes' pickup veered off the road and crashed into them.
Scholes, who lived with his parents just a few blocks from the crash site, was allegedly under the influence of prescription drugs at the time. The thrice-convicted DUI offender lost his driving privileges because of a misdemeanor DUI conviction months before the crash.
According to published reports, he had a "Smart Start" ignition interlock device installed in his pickup truck that required him to breathe into an alcohol detector before he could drive -- a requirement that was among the terms of his probation stemming from a 2009 conviction. The device, however, is unable to detect drugs. --City News Service