BAKERSFIELD, CALIF -
Five days after the district attorney's office announced it would not pursue felony DUI charges against John Giumarra III, he was formally charged in court with other charges.
After Giumarra struck a bicyclist, killing her, police recommended he be charged with felony DUI and felony hit and run. Today, Giumarra was formally charged with felony hit and run, and misdemeanor DUI. Records show Giumarra had a blood alcohol level of 0.18, more than twice the legal limit.
Giumarra pleaded not guilty to the felony hit and run charge and misdemeanor DUI.
Back on January 16, Giumarra was driving down Golden State Highway, when he struck a bicyclist, 32-year-old Angela Holder, who later died. Police said Giumarra left the scene of the crime-but his attorneys say he pulled over at the nearest safe location-a gas station where he was arrested.
Search warrants say Giumarra had an empty vodka bottle in his car-but also suggested the victim was under the influence as well.
It was dark-officers at the scene told us holder didn't have a helmet on, and was wearing dark clothing with no bike light-outside of the crosswalk-when she was struck.
Though Giumarra was allegedly driving drunk when he struck Holder, District Attorney Lisa Green told us that neither they or Bakersfield Police could find evidence needed to charge Giumarra with felony DUI for the fatality.
Giumarra's attorneys have maintained the collision was not Giumarra's fault, but that of the bicyclist.
Before posting bail, Giumarra had to sign a Watson Advisement, a document stating if he continues to drink and drive and someone dies as a result in a future accident, he can be charged with murder. An acknowledgement he also made back in 2015 when he was arrested for DUI, but those charges were later dropped down to a wet reckless to which he pled no contest to. In that case, he was given three years probation back in November 2015.
He was still on court probation in January when he was arrested after the fatal crash, but the DA's office isn't currently pursuing probation violation as an additional charge.
Meanwhile Angela Holder's mother and her five children will be pursuing a lawsuit against Giumarra.
Giumarra paid the 10 percent needed of his $250,000 bail at $25,000. He is out of custody.
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