The seizure-prone San Bruno driver who fatally slammed into a car carrying two cousins on their way to a baptism celebration two years ago begins this week on two counts of second-degree murder.
The trial of Rodney Edward Corsiglia, 50, was assigned a judge Monday and will begin with motions and jury selection on Wednesday. Trial is expected to last five weeks.
In addition to the murder counts, Corsiglia is also charged with felony drunk driving, gross vehicular manslaughter with intoxication and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license along with the second-degree murder charges.
Prosecutors believe the seizures were likely the cause of the crash rather than the use of alcohol. He had been told not to drive because of his condition, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
The trial may be the first vehicle-related murder case in which the deaths are not directly linked to the use of alcohol, Wagstaffe said.
If convicted of both murder counts, Corsiglia faces 30 years to life in prison — a sharp contrast to the five to six years vehicular manslaughter carries.
On July 28, 2012, Corsiglia crashed into several eastbound cars at an El Camino Real stoplight while driving east on Sneath Lane just after noon. The two who died, cousins Arnulfo Picazo, 39, of San Bruno, and Usbaldo Picazo Gomez, 37, of South San Francisco, were on their way to pick up beverages for a baptism celebration. Two others, an adult and a 9-year-old boy, were also hospitalized with serious injuries.
Prosecutors charged Corsiglia with murder in addition to the manslaughter charge because he allegedly insisted on driving without a license despite being forbidden by his medical condition of petite mal seizures.
His license was permanently suspended in 2011 but his record of crashes linked to the condition date back to 2002. Of the seven collisions, two were on the same day.
In 2004, while on probation for an earlier domestic violence conviction, Corsiglia was convicted by a jury of striking his girlfriend with a telephone receiver. The defense claimed Corsiglia was unconscious at the time due to intoxication and seizures.
Corsiglia remains in custody without bail.
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