Bail increased to $2 million

Updated: April 14, 2009, 9:21 AM ET
Associated Press

FULLERTON, Calif. -- A judge increased bail Monday to $2 million for the 22-year-old man charged in the traffic collision death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two other people.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Roger B. Robbins continued Andrew Gallo's arraignment until June 8.

Gallo, of San Gabriel, had nearly triple the legal blood-alcohol level when he ran a red light in his minivan Thursday and hit the car carrying Adenhart, police said.

Also killed were the car's 20-year-old driver, Courtney Stewart of Diamond Bar, and 25-year-old passenger Henry Pearson of Manhattan Beach. Another passenger, 24-year-old Jon Wilhite of Manhattan Beach, was injured in the crash and has been upgraded to serious condition.

Gallo was charged with three counts of murder as well as felony drunken driving and fleeing the scene of a traffic accident causing death or injury, among other counts. If convicted of all counts, he could face nearly 55 years to life in prison.

Gallo had previously pleaded guilty to drunken driving in 2006 in San Bernardino and didn't complete the terms of his sentencing in that case, court records show. He was driving on a suspended license at the time of last week's crash and was still on probation from the earlier case.

Deputy District Attorney Susan Price asked the judge to increase his bail because of this record and because he fled the scene of the accident and then later fled from a police officer who tried to detain him about two miles from the scene.

She said after his earlier arrest, he was warned that if he killed anybody while driving under the influence, he could be charged with murder.

"He was warned ... and he also completed an alcohol education program that was a residential program where he was taught about the dangers of drinking and driving and he disregarded those dangers," Price said.

Gallo appeared in court wearing a white button-down shirt and no handcuffs. He appeared to spend most of the hearing in tears with his head down.

His defense attorney, Randall T. Longwith, said outside court that his client was devastated by what happened. He doubts Gallo could get a fair trial in Orange County and said he would be seeking a change of venue.

"We'd like to express our condolences to all the victims of this terrible accident -- and that's what it was, it was a terrible accident," Longwith said outside court.

"He's as distraught as can be. ... I think his tears spoke volumes," he said.

But the mother of one of the victims, Carrie Stewart-Dixon, said she was not moved by Gallo's tears.

"It sickens me, it sickens me that he was on the road," she said. "He's escaped the law too many times and I think everybody's had enough of him escaping the law."

Stewart-Dixon held a brief news conference after the hearing flanked by 16 other friends and relatives. All of them wore T-shirts bearing her daughter's photo and the words "In loving memory of Courtney Frances Stewart."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press