Opening arguments take place on day 1 of Adenhart trial

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The jersey of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, who was killed on April 9, 2009 in a car crash, hangs in the dugout during the baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium April 10, 2009 in Anaheim, California.

Jurors in Santa Ana yesterday heard opening statements in the trial of the man accused of killing Angel pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others in a car crash last year.

Prosecutor Susan Price told the jurors the case is about “an evening of pure indulgence and a night of total disregard.” She said 23-year-old defendant Andrew Gallo was already on probation for DUI when he went to three bars with a friend, got drunk – and smashed his van into a sports car that carried Adenhart and three other people.

Price said the document Gallo signed after his guilty plea warned him that if he drove drunk again and killed someone, he could be charged with murder. That’s happening now. The crash killed Adenhart and two of his friends; it severely injured a fourth passenger.

Gallo’s attorney Jacqueline Goodman has tried to get the murder charge knocked down to voluntary manslaughter. She’s tried to get the trial moved out of Orange County. She’s failed both times.

Now her case is this: Andrew Gallo didn’t intend to kill anyone – and it’s tough to see at the intersection where the crash happened. If they don’t buy that, the seven women and five men on the jury could send Gallo to prison for life.

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