A Feb. 25 trial date was set today for a Twentynine Palms woman who lost control of her car while allegedly drunk at the wheel, resulting in a desert crash that killed her two passengers.
Angela Nicole Patterson, 26, was charged with second-degree murder in the June 17, 2009, deaths of Jason Dean Stevens and Jeffery Lee Husted, both 26.
The victims were riding with Patterson in her 2002 Mitsubishi sedan when she drove off the road. The vehicle overturned and crashed into a tree on the southern end of Joshua Tree National Park, just inside the Riverside County line.
A front-seat passenger was seriously injured in the wreck, and Patterson suffered moderate injuries after being ejected from the car.
The allegedly inebriated woman was heading to San Bernardino for a court appearance on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge, to which she later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation, according to court records.
For the crash in Joshua Tree, Patterson was charged with two counts each of second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter, as well as DUI resulting in injuries.
Last May, a Corona jury convicted the defendant of the felony DUI and the manslaughter charges. However, jurors deadlocked 7-5 in favor of acquitting her on the murder charges, resulting in a mistrial on those counts.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office announced last July that prosecutors would seek to retry Patterson on the unresolved charges.
Patterson remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.