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Lawsuit filed against John Giumarra III in connection with fatal crash

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John Giumarra III during his arraignment on a felony hit-and-run charge stemming from a fatal crash last year. 

A lawsuit has been filed against John Giumarra III on behalf of the family of a bicyclist who died following a crash in which Giumarra has been criminally charged.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by an attorney with Rodriguez & Associates on behalf of the estate of Angela Holder, according to court records. An attorney was not listed for Giumarra. 

A copy of the complaint was not yet available from Kern County Superior Court Thursday.

The first hearing in the case is set for Nov. 1.

Giumarra, 48, pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony hit-and-run charge and two misdemeanor DUI charges. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

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

Holder, 32, died the next day at Kern Medical Center.

According to a probable cause declaration, Giumarra's blood alcohol content was 0.18, more than twice the legal limit. 

Police requested felony DUI charges, but District Attorney Lisa Green said those charges were not appropriate because Giumarra didn't commit an "independent unlawful act" other than driving while impaired that caused Holder's death. 

Jeremy Brehmer, Giumarra's attorney, has said his client did not cause the crash. 

The next hearing in the criminal case is scheduled for Aug. 16. 

In 2015, Giumarra pleaded no contest to a "wet and reckless" charge after police found him under the influence in a vehicle parked in the driveway of his home. The charge carries much the same penalties as a DUI.

Giumarra is a member of the family that runs Giumarra Vineyards Corporation, which packs and ships table grapes and is headquartered just east of Bakersfield.

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