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Deputy: Valencia 'asked me to shoot him'

Official testifies that DUI-murder suspect Marco Valencia recognized him from previous arrest

Posted: April 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

SAN FERNANDO — The alleged drunken driver accused of striking and killing a bicyclist with his truck in July 2009 pleaded with deputies to shoot him after he was arrested at gunpoint 15 miles north of the fatal crash on Bouquet Canyon Road, a deputy testified in a San Fernando courtroom Friday.

During Marco Antonio Valencia’s murder trial, Deputy Jeffrey Burrow of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said Valencia was driving his Ford F-150 truck north away from the fatal crash between 85 mph and 90 mph along the winding two-lane road.

After a short pursuit, Valencia pulled over to a dirt embankment on the side of the road, stepped out of his truck and faced Burrow.

Valencia recognized Burrow from previous run-ins, Burrow said.

The deputy pulled his gun and ordered Valencia to lie on the asphalt, Burrow testified.

“(Valencia) called me by name,” Burrow told the jury. “As (Valencia) went down, he asked me to shoot him. He said, ‘Shoot me, my life is over.’”

Valencia, 22, faces a possible life sentence if convicted of murdering Stevenson Ranch resident Joe Novotny. Valencia, who has two previous DUI convictions, is also charged with DUI causing great bodily injury and leaving the scene of an accident.

Burrow said Valencia was held at gunpoint for about 10 minutes before more deputies arrived to handcuff him. After being placed in the backseat of a patrol car, Valencia started talking to Burrow.

“(Valencia said) if he was involved in a traffic accident, or if somebody got hurt, that he didn’t do it intentionally,” Burrow said. “The only thing I told him is that there’s going to be other officers he can talk to.”

Valencia, who has a black cross tattooed behind his right ear, placed his left hand over his mouth during Burrow’s testimony, but appeared stoic.

Novotny’s mother, Mary Ann, who flew to Los Angeles from St. Paul, Minn., to attend the trial, wrote notes on a legal pad from her seat behind Valencia.

At the time of the crash, Valencia’s blood-alcohol content may have been almost three times the legal limit, experts testified.

Almost three hours after the 10:40 a.m. crash, Valencia’s reported blood alcohol content was 0.17, said Ed Barley, a forensic alcohol analyzer for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The legal blood alcohol limit for drivers must be below a 0.08. Above that level, it becomes too dangerous for a person to drive, Barley said.

Based on Valencia’s test results, Barley calculated that the Canyon County resident’s blood-alcohol content was likely as high as 0.23 when Valencia allegedly plowed into a group of cyclists, striking four and killing Novotny.

Testimony is expected to continue Monday in San Fernando Superior Court.


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