Thursday Aug 16 2012
Driver in pedestrian killing charged with second-degree murder
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, The Press Tribune
Tarasuk now held without bail following his arrest in Roseville on Tuesday
Oleg Tarasuk, the man accused of killing a Roseville resident while fleeing from police, was arraigned on a host of felony charges Thursday afternoon, including second-degree murder.
He is no longer eligible for bail.
Tarasuk was originally taken into custody around 9 p.m. Tuesday by the Roseville Police Department on charges of felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.
During his arraignment, Tarasuk learned that the Placer County District Attorney's Office had added more charges, as well as elevated his most serious charge from manslaughter to murder. Under California law, defendants charged with killing a victim with an automobile while intoxicated can be charged with second-degree murder, but only in cases where he or she has had a prior serious criminal conviction. Placer County prosecutors announced Thursday that Tarasuk has a prior conviction for aggravated battery in 2006.
Tarasuk is also being charged with felony DUI causing injury, evading a peace officer, a felony and resisting a peace officer on the felonious level.
Placer County Judge John Cosgrove was forced to communicate with Tarasuk via a court-certified Russian translator.
"Mr. Tarasuk, can you afford an attorney?" Cosgrove asked.
"My wife tells me that she is getting an attorney," Tarasuk said through his interpreter. "Yes, we can afford an attorney."
"When do you think you'll have that attorney here representing you?" Cosgrove said.
"I don't know," Tarasuk said. "I haven't been able to get through to my wife."
Cosgrove was compelled to continue the arraignment process into Friday, due to Tarasuk's inability to enter a plea with an attorney present.
Tarasuk's case began after he allegedly menaced drivers on Washington Boulevard in his truck, rammed a Roseville police cruiser and then led a brief pursuit with law enforcement to the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Main Street, where he allegedly killed 26-year-old pedestrian Gregory Delacampa.
Scott Thomas Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at ScottA_RsvPT.