Hit-and-Run Suspect Charged with Murder
Hit-and-Run Suspect Charged with Murder

A drunken hit-and-run suspect accused of fatally hitting a pedestrian in Desert Hot Springs now faces murder charges. Police say 39-year-old Michael Bettasso of Yucca Valley was under the influence when he struck and killed 63-year-old Richard Helton. The fatal crash occurred July 2, 2016.

Bettasso was convicted of drunken driving in Riverside County in 2005 and again in 2014. Moreover, police say he was still on probation for the second conviction when he caused the fatal crash last year.

Witnesses Help Police Catch Drunken Hit-and-Run Suspect

Bettasso was traveling north on Indian Canyon Drive when his Nissan Sentra struck Helton on the east side of the road around 7:30 p.m. The drunk driver fled the scene, and the crash was not reported until the next morning. However, witnesses identified the drunken hit-and-run suspect. Police arrested him at his home the on July 3.

Last Friday, a judge ruled that Bettasso would stand trial for murder, hit-and-run, and drunken driving. He is due back in court for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment on June 23.

“This is one of several recent cases where a driver has been charged with murder for causing a fatal accident. Hopefully these incidents serve as a warning about the severe consequences driving under the influence can have,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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