By Natalie Neysa Alund
HAYWARD -- Leo Olguin had a cocktail of drugs in his system as he fled police and smashed his car through a big rig, killing three teenage passengers in December 2009, testimony at his murder trial showed Tuesday.
Traces of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine were found in Olguin's blood about an hour after the crash in downtown Hayward, forensic toxicologist Bill Posey told jurors during the second day of testimony in the trial.
Olguin, 25, of Hayward, is charged with three counts of murder as well as robbery, evading arrest and felony DUI ending in death or major injury.
Police say he had skipped out of a halfway house and was on probation when he drove the Mazda through a red light about 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 23. As officers began chasing him, he crashed into a Safeway big rig. The collision on A Street at Foothill Boulevard killed three passengers -- Vanessa Hurtado, 16, Andrew Falcon, 17, and Dominic Hall, 18.
Police said Olguin suffered minor injuries, perhaps because he ducked as the Mazda plowed through the big rig's undercarriage.
A fifth person in the car, a woman, was seriously hurt. Olguin was arrested at the scene.
Phlebotomist Maleah Best testified she was called about 1:30 a.m. to draw Olguin's blood. The sample revealed a blood-alochol level at 0.07, but Posey estimated his level at the time of the crash would have been 0.09, just above the state's legal limit of 0.08.
The cocaine and alcohol found in Olguin's system were ingested within hours of the wreck, and the meth likely a few days earlier, Posey said.
"The combined effects (of stimulants and depressants) on a person causes confusion in the mind ... in the normal thinking process of an individual," Posey said.
"They'd be more likely to make a snap decision than a weighted one," Posey told defense attorney William Cole during cross examination. "More likely to speed up a decision. When a choice is made, it would interfere with their inability to stop."
At a preliminary hearing last year, a detective testified that Olguin's statement to police after his arrest changed several times but that he indicated that he was scared of going back to jail. He also said that an unidentified back-seat passenger urged him to make a break for it and showed Olguin a gun he was holding in his hand.
Olguin also told the detective he was driving the car when it was involved in a robbery that happened about 30 minutes before the crash. Three people were robbed at gunpoint in a residential neighborhood near Harder Road and Mission Boulevard. A gun was found in the Mazda police said, along with the identification of one of the robbery victims.
Christopher Bannatyne testified at the trial he and his two friends were robbed of items including their wallets while outside a girlfriend's home. The robbers, he said, then got into a dark-colored sedan and fled.
On cross examination, he could not recall if two or three men participated in the robbery.
"It was pointless to call the cops," he said. "I figured we were all OK, so there was nothing to tell."
The next morning, he said, a police officer showed up at his parent's house.
"He asked why my ID was found in someone else's car," he said.
In court, Bannatyne pointed to an ID, credit card and other property held up by prosecutor Armando Pastran and identified it as belonging to him.
Olguin is being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail.
Testimony, which began Monday before Judge Roy Hashimoto, is slated to continue Wednesday at the Hayward Hall of Justice and continue into next week.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.