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Local News

Hearing Continued For Driver Charged With Murder, DUI After Orcutt Crash

A brief hearing was held in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Monday for a man charged with two counts of murder for allegedly driving while drunk and causing a rollover crash in Orcutt that killed two passengers earlier this year.

Cameron W. Oliver, 25, appeared before Judge James Voysey in a Santa Maria courtroom. Voysey agreed to continue the case to Oct. 16.

Oliver, represented during Monday’s hearing by Deborah Kirkwood from the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office, previously pleaded not guilty to two murder charges, and also denied enhancements for driving with a blood alcohol content exceeding .08 percent and causing bodily injury to a third passenger.

The defendant was driving a vehicle at high speed with three passengers on Highway 135 north of Lakeview Road when it veered off the roadway, crashed through a fence, struck a concrete bench, and overturned onto Orcutt Road, the California Highway Patrol said.

Leann Stauffer, 37, of Santa Maria, was pronounced dead at the scene of the Feb. 6 crash, while Tricia Jensen, also 37, died a few days later at the hospital.

Deputy District Attorney Lynmarc Jenkins said the attorneys had been discussing the case and requested to postpone the hearing to Oct. 16.

At that time, the attorneys and judge could set a date for the preliminary hearing, continue the case to another date, or take some other action.

A third passenger, Brian Freeborn, 38, of Santa Maria, was also injured in the crash.   

Cameron Oliver Click to view larger
Cameron Oliver

Oliver faces special allegations that he had a blood alcohol content above .15 percent, drove at least 30 mph above the speed limit, and has been convicted of a prior DUI offense. 

According to the criminal complaint, Oliver allegedly had a blood alcohol content that exceeded .19 percent, and was driving more than 125 mph at the time of the crash.

Oliver has a prior conviction for drunken driving from San Diego County and was on probation for a domestic violence incident at the time of his arrest in this case.  

His prior DUI made him eligible for murder charges in this case, according to authorities. 

Oliver remains in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

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