The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney:
A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Wednesday afternoon to announce it had found the defendant guilty as charged.
Defendant Victor Hugo Rico Gonzalez, age 41, of Geyserville, was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, both counts as misdemeanors.
The defendant also admitted — outside the presence of the jury – an additional charge and a prior DUI conviction.
In an effort to strategically keep the jury from learning he had a prior DUI conviction, the defendant admitted to the judge when the jury was not present an allegation charged by the DA that he had suffered a 2018 misdemeanor conviction for driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater out of the Sonoma County Superior Court.
The defendant also admitted to the judge when the jury was not present a third count alleging that on the day in question (9/6/2021) he was knowingly driving on a suspended license, that suspension having been imposed by the DMV as a result of the prior Sonoma County DUI conviction.
After the jury was excused, the defendant was ordered to return to the Ukiah courthouse on May 11, 2022 at 9 o’clock in the morning for judgment and sentencing.
The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence underlying today’s jury verdicts were the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice crime laboratory in Eureka.
The attorney who presented the People’s evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Jordyn Sequeira.
As an aside, this was Ms. Sequeira’s first jury trial. Congratulations, Jordyn.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Patrick Pekin presided over the three-day trial and will be the sentencing judge on May 11th.