A man with eight prior convictions for driving under the influence has been convicted of vehicular manslaughter involving gross negligence in the 2011 death of a pedestrian in South Lake Tahoe.
An El Dorado County jury last week found Larry Lee Halverson guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run causing injury. The jury heard testimony that on Sept. 4, 2011, Halverson's driver's license was suspended for DUI and he was under the influence driving a Nissan Pathfinder on Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe when he struck Patrick Purcell, 51, a pedestrian who was crossing the boulevard, according to an El Dorado County District Attorney's Office news release. Purcell, a South Lake Tahoe resident, was flown to Renown Hospital in Reno, where he died of his injuries 31 days later.
According to the District Attorney's Office, Halverson had convictions for driving under the influence starting in 1990 in Santa Clara County through 2008 in Nevada. He was indicted by an El Dorado County grand jury in April 2012 in Purcell's death.
Halverson faces sentencing under Courtney's Law, a 1996 amendment to the state law pertaining to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to the District Attorney's Office. This law provides for a 15-year-to-life sentence for habitual offenders with qualifying DUI convictions. Halverson, who is being held in El Dorado County Jail without bail, is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 1.