A California congresswoman whose late husband campaigned for the sympathy vote after a drunk driver hit them hired a serial hit-and-run drunk driver who ended up killing a young woman in a drunken accident.
Raymond Victor Morua, a district representative for Democratic Rep. Lois Capps of Santa Barbara, hit and mortally injured 27-year-old Mallory Rae Dies late last week. After fleeing the scene, Morua hit a palm tree and blew a .17 percent alcohol level — twice the legal limit. Morua continued driving and was followed by witnesses who implored him to return to the scene of the crash.
After lingering for five days, Dies was taken off life support and died Wednesday afternoon. Morua has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, Santa Barbara officials told Noozhawk.com, a local news site in the American Riviera.
Capps finally fired Morua after he was arrested in the horrific accident.
Capps hired Morua in October 2011 despite an extensive criminal record from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, which included previous DUI convictions, a hit-and-run charge from 2006, and embezzlement charges.
Morua had been convicted of grand theft by embezzlement, a misdemeanor, against the Goleta K-Mart in March 2011. Capps hired him first as a constituent liaison in October 2011 and then promoted him to district representative in November 2012.
Ironically, Lois Capps’s now deceased husband Walter won his first election to Congress at least partially due to a sympathy vote after Walter and Lois Capps were hit head on by a drunk driver in 1996.
“Sympathy from the accident and Capps’ slow, painful recovery from numerous fractures and internal injuries have injected an unusual note into one of California’s most closely watched House races, featuring two polar opposites locked in a rematch of a 1994 race that almost ended in a dead heat,” wrote the San Francisco Chronicle at the time. The paper said Walter Capps “benefited from a steady stream of local media coverage that any politician would envy.”