OROVILLE — An Oroville man has pleaded no contest to driving under the influence in a January crash in south Oroville that killed a man, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
A press release said Lovie Shorter Jr., 32, entered the plea in Butte County Superior Court last week to the crash that happened at 1:39 a.m. Jan. 21 at the intersection of Las Plumas Avenue and Lower Wyandotte Road in south Oroville.
Lawrence Albert Jeska, 64, of Oroville, was killed in the crash. The District Attorney’s Office said Shorter ran a red light on Las Plumas in a 2003 Chevy Tahoe and hit Jeska’s 2013 Toyota Tacoma traveling on Lower Wyandotte broadside.
The crash spun the Tahoe into the parking lot of Robertson’s Market. Shorter denied at the scene he was driving, but surveillance video from nearby businesses showed him getting out of the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Jeska was pronounced dead at the scene. A 34-year-old woman who was Shorter’s passenger and owner of the Tahoe, suffered head injuries and was taken to Enloe Medical Center in Chico.
A preliminary alcohol breath test an hour after the collision showed Shorter’s blood alcohol level to be 0.13 percent. The legal threshold for drunken driving is 0.08 percent.
Shorter pleaded no contest to a felony count of driving under the influence causing injury and admitted special allegations of causing great bodily injury and having multiple injured victims.
Shorter will be sentenced on Oct. 4 and faces up to seven years in state prison.
District Attorney Mike Ramsey noted his office earlier rejected a plea offer to DUI vehicular manslaughter because it only carried a sentence of four years in county jail.
Shorter has been in custody since the collision and remains in custody.