Drunk Driver Had Previous Conviction: Prosecutors

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    Steven Luke

    An El Cajon man who was allegedly driving drunk when he crashed, killing a man sitting inside a Carl's Jr., had a previous reckless homicide conviction, according to prosecutors.

    Richard Daus, 74, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in an El Cajon courtroom Wednesday. He’s charged with vehicular manslaughter and DUI.

    Customer Crushed by Car in Carl's Jr.

    [DGO] Customer Crushed by Car in Carl's Jr.
    A man was killed while eating at a Carl's Jr. in El Cajon after a car came crashing into the restaurant. (Published Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010)

    Randy Smith was killed Jan. 3 when a vehicle smashed into the fast food restaurant.

    Prosecutors say Daus’ blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit when he crashed into the building, hurling Smith from one end of the restaurant to the other.

    An employee at the restaurant said the victim was a retired teacher and a regular customer who always sat in the same spot.

    If convicted, Daus could face an enhanced prison term of 15 years to life. He was convicted of reckless homicide in 1952, according to prosecutors.