Driver is convicted in DUI hit-and-run case |

Driver is convicted in DUI hit-and-run case

Eric Heinz

A man who prosecutors believe was driving under the influence of alcohol and cocaine when he stuck and killed a pedestrian has been found guilty and could serve up to life in prison.

Larry Lee Halverson, 60, was convicted Oct. 1 of gross negligence vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and a hit-and-run causing injury in the 2012 death of Patrick Purnell.

According to a news release from El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, the 1996 amendment to gross negligence vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, or “Courtney’s Law,” comes with a 15-years-to-life sentence for “habitual offenders with qualifying driving under the influence convictions.”

On the afternoon of Sept. 4, 2012, Halverson was driving under the influence of alcohol and cocaine on Ski Run Boulevard when he struck Purnell, 51, El Dorado County Court documents stated.

Purnell was taken to a hospital in Reno and died as a result of his injuries 31 days later, the release stated.

According to prosecuting attorneys, Halverson had racked up eight driving under the influence charges, his ninth being his most recent conviction, over the course of a few decades.

His license had been suspended for at least 20 years.

Defense attorney Bridget Matos could not be reached for comment by press time.

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