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Retired police sergeant faces murder charges after suspected DUI crash near Sonora

A woman, identified as Rebekah Gall, died from injuries related to the crash.

SONORA, Calif. — A retired police sergeant is facing a murder charge after a suspected DUI crash near Sonora, officials announced Sunday.

The crash happened Jan. 18 along Highway 108 near Chicken Ranch Road. A woman, identified as Rebekah Gall, died from injuries related to the crash.

On Sunday, the California Highway Patrol and the Tuolumne County District Attorney's Office announced that they arrested Theodore Young as the suspected DUI driver. He was arrested on a Ramey warrant.

"Seeking a Ramey warrant allowed the CHP to take Young into custody without having to wait for formal charges to be filed by the District Attorney's Office on Monday." the district attorney's office and CHP said in a joint news release.

Young is a retired Sergeant from the Pleasanton Police Department, according to the Tuolumne County District Attorney's Office. 

Young had a prior DUI conviction in 2017 and the district attorney's office said in a statement Monday that Young was notified in the charging complaint at the time that if he killed someone while driving under the influence, he could face possible murder charges.

"After reviewing the facts of this case, we believe that Young drove with implied malice when he killed Rebekah,"  the Tuolumne County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. "As soon as we learned of Rebekah’s tragic passing and that Young had already bailed on the 'driving under the influence causing injury' charge for which he was originally arrested, we knew something needed to be done immediately to protect our community."

On Monday, the district attorney's office intends to file a complaint and charge Young with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing brain injury, and driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher causing brain injury with a prior DUI conviction.  

"Our thoughts are with Rebekah's family and our community as we all mourn another senseless tragedy caused by drunk driving," the DA and CHP said.

Anyone with information on this case can call Sonora CHP Investigating Officer Elliott Lopez at (209) 984-3944.

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