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Man involved in 2016 fatal DUI crash that killed prominent Wasco man pleads no contest

Posted at 4:52 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 19:52:59-05

The man involved in a fatal DUI crash that killed a former Kern County Fire captain last August appeared in court on Wednesday. 

Lorenzo Alonzo is suspected of driving drunk and causing a crash in August 2016 that killed Melvin McLaughlin, a prominent Wasco man.

Alonzo pleaded no content to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury. 

Three other charges - second degree murder, driving with a suspended or revoked license and driving under the influence .08 alcohol with bodily injury - were dismissed.


The crash that killed McLaughlin happened along Golden State Highway at 7th Standard Road. The District Attorney's Office said Alonzo, 31, had three previous DUI offenses.

McLaughlin, 81, was a former Kern County Fire captain, member of Wasco City Council and chairman of the Kern County Local Agency Formation Commission.

Alonzo will be sentenced on Dec. 18. The DA's Office said Alonzo faces 11 years behind bars. 

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