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Runaway truck driver found guilty of manslaughter

Sentencing is set for Sept. 8 and could range from probation to 9 years in prison.

July 29, 2011|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com
(By Kirk McKoy/Los…)

Marcos Costa, the driver in the fatal 2009 runaway truck collision off the Angeles Crest Highway, could end up on probation after a jury on Friday found him not guilty of second-degree murder. 

The jury did convict Costa of involuntary manslaughter, gross vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving for the April 2009 crash in which his big rig, having lost its brakes during the steep Crest descent, slammed into a car containing Palmdale resident Angel Posca, 58, and his 12-year-old daughter, Angelina, killing both.

Costa’s car-hauler went through the intersection at Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge and crashed into a bookstore, injuring others.

His attorney, Edward Murphy, said outside the Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom in Pasadena Friday that with Costa already having served 20 months, he could come out of the Sept. 8 sentencing hearing without having to serve any further time in custody. The maximum sentence he could receive would be nine years in prison. 

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“He’s feeling very good, he gave me a hug,” Murphy said of his client.

Superior Court Judge Darrell Mavis also ruled that Costa could remain free on bail, over Deputy District Attorney Carolina Lugo’s objections.

Murphy said that Costa had “absolutely” been over-charged with murder.

“My strategy was simply to get him acquitted of murder so the court would have discretion in sentencing,” Murphy said.

When asked about Costa’s plans, Murphy said he didn’t know exactly what Costa was planning, but added, “I don’t think he’s ever going to drive a truck again.”

Yanette Sofia Posca, the mother and wife of the dead victims, spoke emotionally about her daughter after the hearing.

“I feel bad for anybody who didn’t know her … she was a beautiful, talented little girl,” said Yanette Sofia Posca, while holding up a T-shirt with a picture of her daughter’s face on it.

She said she felt bad for Costa and his family as well.

“When I first heard, I was sad, because you know what, whatever the verdict would have been, it’s not going to bring them back,” Yanette Sofia Posca said. “Two families are torn apart now.”

Still, she made it clear that her family would not forget the man they consider responsible for the accident.

“He’s going to have to carry this for the rest of his life,” she said. “We’ll never get over it, not ever.”

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