Drunk driver pleads guilty in crash that killed PLNU grad
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 09/05/16 - 12:36 PM | 4951 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A drunk driver charged with killing a Point Loma Nazarene University graduate in a fiery crash pleaded guilty Sept. 2 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Roy Thomas Dunkin, 51, will be sentenced Nov. 4 in the Aug. 20 death of Lucas Makana Riley, 24, of San Diego. He also pleaded guilty to drunk driving, causing injury to three other people.

Dunkin, of Ramona, faces a maximum term of 13 years and eight months and there is no sentencing agreement with the District Attorney’s office, said prosecutor Cally Bright.

Bright said Dunkin’s guilty plea was the quickest one entered in any of her drunk driving fatality cases that she has handled. Dunkin entered his guilty plea at his second court appearance after only being arraigned on Aug. 24.

Usually such cases have a preliminary hearing before any guilty plea is entered. Often a trial is set and the case’s conclusion may be a year after the incident.

Dunkin’s attorney could not be reached for comment. San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren took his guilty plea and gave no indication as to what his sentence will be.

On Saturday, a memorial service was held at PNLU for Riley. He was a 2014 graduate and was a sculptor. He was engaged to Shawna Wickwire, a 2013 PLNU graduate, and they were to be married in October.

PLNU president Bob Brower issued a statement after Riley’s death, saying “The PLNU community is deeply saddened by this sudden and tragic loss.”

Riley helped a PLNU art professor in the installation of a permanent art piece for the County of San Diego in Little Italy.

Riley was driving a Mini Cooper that was struck by Dunkin’s Chevrolet pickup truck, which clipped a Buick sedan in front of him, resulting in a head-on crash. Riley’s car burst into flames and he died in his vehicle.

Dunkin broke his wrist in the crash. Halgren changed his $2 million bail figure to no bail and he remains in jail.
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