After less than three hours of deliberations, a Sonoma County jury found defendant Josimar Ortiz-Ortiz, 29-years-old of Windsor, guilty of second-degree murder on Monday afternoon for his actions in October of 2018 when he killed another man by colliding head-on with the victim’s vehicle while driving intoxicated on Old Redwood Highway.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “Every motorist in Sonoma County should be acutely aware that impaired drivers who cause the death of another with their vehicle face a potential murder charge. It is simply not worth it. This was a tragic incident that was completely avoidable.”
On Oct. 30, 2018 Ortiz-Ortiz drank about eight beers on his way home from work. By the time he was heading south on Old Redwood Highway towards Windsor his blood alcohol content was .23. Ortiz was weaving in his lane and crossed the double yellow lines twice before crashing into Jose Beltran, who was driving north to Healdsburg. The crash was so violent that both cars spun out and landed in a ditch about 230 feet apart. Beltran’s car smashed into a pole on the driver’s side and was subsequently trapped in his car and had to be removed by fire personnel. He died in the ambulance of multiple injuries caused by the crash.
Ortiz-Ortiz had a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2015 where he was advised by the court (per standard sentencing conditions) that if he continued to drink and drive, and he killed someone, he could be charged with murder. Ortiz-Ortiz then attended the mandated drunk driving program where he learned about the dangers of drinking and driving to all motorists. Despite all of this education, Ortiz-Ortiz chose to drink and drive on Oct. 30, 2018 and killed Mr. Beltran.
Ortiz-Ortiz is facing a prison sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 26, 2021.
The case was investigated by the California Highway Patrol and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Marianna Green.