MARTINEZ -- A 41-year-old Tracy man who says a medical condition led him to cause a fatal six-car pile-up at a Lafayette traffic light in 2007 is headed for re-trial after jurors said Wednesday they could not agree on a verdict.
David Caspillo returns to Contra Costa County Superior Court on Oct. 15 where a judge will set a new trial date on charges of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the March 22, 2007 death of 55-year-old Walnut Creek resident Dale Zenor. Ten of the 12 jurors were in favor of guilt before Wednesday's mistrial.
Caspillo, who is free on bail, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and claims to not remember driving 70 mph into a row of cars stopped at Acalanes High School that clear afternoon without attempting to brake or swerve before impact.
Defense attorney Dirk Manoukian argued that Caspillo was having a manic bipolar episode and was "legally unconscious" when the crash occurred. Deputy district attorney Simon OConnell argued that Caspillo was distracted by his GPS -- and told that to medics at the crash scene.
"For three-and-a-half years I've been to court -- twice as many times as the defendant and here all we got was a practice trial," said Zenor's cousin, Greg Mariano, of Walnut Creek.