A Nipomo man charged with second-degree murder and three additional criminal counts in connection to a deadly crash near Avila Beach earlier this month pleaded not guilty during his continued arraignment Monday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.
Patrick McDuffee is accused of killing Glenn Howard Owens, 72, or Atascadero, and seriously injuring his wife while driving under the influence of drugs.
In addition to the murder charge against the 31-year-old, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office also charged McDuffee with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of a drug causing injury and driving with a suspended license.
The California Highway Patrol responded to the crash on San Luis Bay Dr. at Apple Orchard Lane around 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6.
According to a CHP report, McDuffee was driving a Ford F-250 truck southbound on San Luis Bay Dr. approaching Avila Beach Dr. when witnesses reported seeing him crossing into ongoing traffic.
Officers said the front end of McDuffee's truck collided with Howard's Mercedes van going northbound on San Luis Bay Dr. just north of Avila Beach Dr.
The CHP said an investigation found that McDuffee was driving while under the influence of drugs. The complaint does not specify which drugs were reportedly ingested. He was arrested and booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail for murder.
McDuffee is due back in court for a pre-preliminary hearing Oct. 6. He is currently being held without bail at San Luis Obispo County Jail.