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Newhall woman found guilty of second-degree murder

Posted: May 22, 2013 5:15 p.m.
Updated: May 22, 2013 5:15 p.m.

An Arizona jury has found a Newhall woman guilty on all criminal counts including two counts of second-degree murder in connection with a fatal 2011 crash near the Arizona state line that claimed the lives of two children, a court official said.

Rebecca Loya, 59, was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree murder in the deaths of the two children, Brian and Kevin Camerena, said Chief Deputy Tina Schwab of the La Paz County Superior Court in Parker, Ariz.

She was also found guilty of aggravated assault causing serious injury to Nancy Faustino, then 66.

“By measure, the jury found that this offense was dangerous,” Schwab said, referring to a legal consequence of the crime.

Loya is also found guilty of aggravated assault involving the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument in Faustino’s injuries, specifically her SUV.

The jury also found her guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and of driving under the “extreme influence” of alcohol, meaning she had a blood/alcohol level of .15 or more.

It took the jury about 4-and-a-half hours to deliver its verdict at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Schwab said.

On Aug. 15, 2011, shortly after 4:30 p.m., law enforcement officers from both Arizona and California responded to a two-vehicle traffic collision on Interstate 10 near the California-Arizona state line.

The crash involved a red Nissan minivan driven by Faustino and a silver Toyota SUV, driven by Loya.

Loya was driving westbound on the interstate when she drove her SUV into the back of the minivan.

The two Camerena boys, passengers in the minivan, died in the crash — one at the scene and the other a short time later at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Faustino was flown to Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs and was admitted with serious injuries, according to Arizona media reports.

Loya is scheduled to be sentenced next month, Schwab said.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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