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Felony DUI, hit-and-run charges recommended in fatal crash involving John Giumarra III

Police are recommending felony DUI and hit-and-run charges against John Giumarra III, a member of a prominent farming family who was allegedly driving drunk when he struck and killed a bicyclist in January. 

The District Attorney's office received the police investigation report at 8:01 a.m. Thursday and has it under review, said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Michael J. Yraceburn. Prosecutors have final say on which charges, if any, are filed, and could veer from law enforcement's recommendation.

Yraceburn said Giumarra has at least one prior DUI conviction.

Under California law, a person convicted of DUI who later drives under the influence and causes a crash that kills another person can be charged with second-degree murder. 

H.A. Sala, the attorney representing Giumarra, noted police did not recommend pursuing murder or manslaughter charges, a decision he found "appropriate in light of the evidence that we're aware of." He declined further comment until after he'd spoken with Yraceburn and gathered more information about the report. 

Giumarra, 48, was driving in the 1600 block of Golden State Avenue when he collided with a bicyclist around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 16, according to police. He left the scene and was found at a Mobil station on F Street. 

Police determined he was under the influence and arrested him. The bicyclist, Angela Holder, 32, died the next day at Kern Medical Center.

Her bike was not equipped with lights or rear reflectors, police said.

About 2 1/2 months have passed since the crash occurred, but investigations involving traffic collisions often drag on for months, and in some cases can last closer to a year. 

Police spokesman Sgt. Ryan Kroeker, speaking generally of crash investigations where someone has died, said the BPD, which has its own traffic enforcement unit, has officers trained in accident reconstruction. 

Investigators download the GPS systems of vehicles involved in a crash, analyze the cellphones of the drivers and take numerous measurements, among other things. 

"We try to figure out the circumstances and figure out who's at fault," Kroeker said. 

Giumarra is listed as working in North American sales on the website of Giumarra Vineyards Corporation. The company, family-owned and operated, grows, packs and ships California table grapes and is headquartered just east of Bakersfield. 

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