The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office this afternoon
charged a Santa Rosa man with murder for a solo-vehicle crash that killed a
Saint Helena man in Rohnert Park on Friday.
Rafael Prieto-Gonzalez, 23, did not enter a plea in Sonoma County
Superior Court. He is being held under no bail in the Sonoma County jail and
will return to court Monday.
Prieto-Gonzalez lost control of a 2000 Ford Explorer on northbound
Commerce Boulevard around 8 p.m. Friday evening, the Rohnert Park Department
of Public Safety said.
The SUV slammed broadside into a tree, killing passenger Abel
Acosta, 44, of Saint Helena.
Witnesses said the driver fled the vehicle and hid in a nearby
neighborhood. Rohnert Park public safety officers found Prieto-Gonzalez who
had injuries consistent with a crash, Sgt. Aaron Johnson said.
Prieto-Gonzalez was suspected of being under the influence of
alcohol or drugs. He was taken to a hospital before he was booked in the
Sonoma County jail.
Prieto-Gonzalez has a prior DUI conviction, Deputy District
Attorney Anne Masterson said.