The Villegas family found out on Tuesday this week that the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office would not be charging Ronny Ward with manslaughter for the death of baby RJ Villegas on M Street, April 8th.
In protest, they are asking supporters to come to the District Attorney’s office at 901 G Street in Downtown Sacramento tomorrow, Friday August 9th at 12 noon to rally in support of more serious charges.
I spoke to the DA’s spokeswoman today, Shelly Orio, who told me that Mr. Ward is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with greater than .08% blood alcohol and personally inflicting great bodily injury upon expecting mother Ciara Villegas.
Our legislature amended Penal Code section 187 which specifically makes the unlawful killing of a fetus murder. The legislature intentionally failed to amend or enact the manslaughter statutes, including vehicular manslaughter, to include the same language. Thus, the state of the law in California is that the death of a fetus is not covered in the definition of manslaughter or vehicular manslaughter.Shelly Orio, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office
Because the case is a pending criminal prosecution, the DA’s ethical obligations prevent them from discussing further facts or details of any pending criminal case.
The family has asked to escalate the decision to the District Attorney, Anne Marie Schubert. Their request has not yet received a response.
Mr. Ward will be in court again on August 15th.