LANCASTER – A man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other felony charges for allegedly driving drunk and crashing his pickup truck into a Lancaster home last month, killing a 71-year-old woman who was sleeping inside.
Aaron Daniel Benson, 25, of Lancaster, is charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense, and driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense.
The criminal complaint alleges that he was previously convicted of DUI in October 2011.
Patricia Ann Holmes, who was alone in the house in the 1000 block of West Avenue J-12 at 10:55 p.m. March 29, was found in her bed underneath Benson’s 2001 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Benson allegedly crashed his pickup into several parked cars on both sides of the street as he moved westbound on Avenue J-12 before slamming into the elderly woman’s home.
He was arrested soon afterward and has been in custody since then in lieu of $1 million bail.
Benson is due back in a Lancaster courtroom April 29 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.
If convicted as charged, Benson faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lancaster Station.
[Information via City News Service.]
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