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Local News

Raymond Morua In Court for DUI, Hit-and-Run Arraignment

Former aide to Rep. Lois Capps is facing charges stemming from accident Friday night that critically injured Mallory Rae Dies, 27, of Santa Barbara

The former congressional aide who was arrested on felony DUI and hit-and-run charges stemming from an accident Friday night that critically injured a 27-year-old Santa Barbara woman made his first court appearance on Tuesday.

Raymond Victor Morua, 32, of Santa Barbara appeared before Judge Thomas Adams in Santa Barbara County Superior Court for arraignment.

Morua, who worked as a district representative to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara and was a frequent advocate for local veterans issues, was fired after the accident, Capps’ press secretary confirmed Monday.

Morua's attorney, Sam Eaton, asked for the arraignment to be delayed until Friday, which Adams approved. 

Santa Barbara police said Morua was arrested after the vehicle he was driving struck Mallory Rae Dies on the 500 block of Anacapa Street as she was crossing the street.

Morua allegedly continued driving and was followed by witnesses, who tried to convince him to return to the scene of the collision.

He was taken into custody after crashing into a palm tree at State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard, police said.

Dies, a bartender at the Tonic Nightclub in downtown Santa Barbara, remains at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, undergoing a series of surgeries and evaluations to monitor her brain function and response, according to a CaringBridge website that was set up to keep family and friends informed of her condition.

A fundraiser for Dies and her family is planned for Sunday, according to a Mallory Rae Support Page on Facebook, but details were not available.

Police said Morua was found to be intoxicated and provided a breath sample that showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.17 percent, twice the point at which a driver is considered drunk.

He has a criminal record from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, which includes previous DUI charges and a hit-and-run charge from 2006.

Adams also brought up a probation-violation case, which is going through the Superior Court system at the same time.

Morua was convicted of grand theft by embezzlement, a misdemeanor, against the Goleta K-Mart in March 2011, Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said.

Morua was placed on probation for three years as a result of that case, and was ordered to pay restitution, among other terms and conditions, Carter said. 

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli 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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