Tuesday, May 24 , 2016, 9:41 pm | Mostly Cloudy 58º

Judge Orders Release of Drug Treatment Records for Man Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run

Raymond Morua, who has yet to enter a plea in the case, is accused in the December death of pedestrian Mallory Rae Dies

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol |

A judge on Thursday ordered that drug-treatment records for a man charged with murder and hit-and-run in the December death of Mallory Rae Dies be turned over to Santa Barbara County prosecutors.

Raymond Morua was present in an adjacent holding area when Judge Thomas Adams announced that he was releasing all of the documents requested by Senior Deputy District Attorney Arnie Tolks.

Morua, a former aide to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, is being held without bail at the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges that he was driving while intoxicated and struck Dies, 27, as she was crossing the 500 block of Anacapa Street on Dec. 6, 2013.

He is charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, and faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

Morua, 32, has two previous DUI cases in Ventura County Superior Court, and his court-ordered drug-treatment program was conducted by the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department.

Morua's attorney, Darryl Genis, has asserted that those records fall under HIPAA, a federal law governing patient confidentiality of medical records.

But Adams previously noted that facts in the documents could be relevant to implied malice, which would be central to the murder charge, as well as gross negligence.

Unlike Santa Barbara County's court-mandated drug and alcohol treatment, Ventura's program is administered by a medical facility, which could mean additional hurdles to clear before a subpoena can be issued.

Genis has termed the move to obtain the records a "fishing expedition," and briefly reiterated his objection to their release on Thursday.

Adams reviewed the records in private before ordering that they be released.

Morua will return to court March 28 for arraignment, which has been postponed several times.

He has yet to enter a plea to the charges, and Genis said after Thursday's hearing that he did not know if that would occur at the March hearing.

Dies suffered major head and other injuries, and was taken off life support Dec. 11, five days after being injured

Police stated that Morua's blood-alcohol level — 0.17 percent — was more than twice the legal limit at which a driver is considered drunk.

As he has been at previous hearings, Dies' father, Matt Dies, was in court on Thursday, along with several of his daughter's friends all wearing blue shirts with the "Vow 4 Mal" insignia, the nonprofit the group has started to educated people about the dangers of drunken driving.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.