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Canyon Country Man Convicted Of Second-Degree Murder

khts_crimeA jury today convicted a Canyon Country man of second-degree murder for plowing his truck into four cyclists, killing one, while he was drunk.

The jury deliberated less than two hours before finding Marco Antonio Valencia, 22, guilty of the July 11, 2009, DUI accident that killed cyclist Joseph Novotny, said Deputy District Attorney William Chung.

The jury also found Valencia guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and driving with .08 percent blood alcohol causing injury and found true the allegations of causing great bodily injury.

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Valencia, who was on probation for two separate misdemeanor DUI cases at the time, was driving his pickup on Bouquet Canyon Road when he struck the four cyclists about 11 a.m. The other three later recovered from their injuries. Valencia then took off but was arrested about 90 minutes later by the California Highway Patrol.

He returns to court May 26 to be sentenced by San Fernando Superior Court Judge Daniel Feldstern. He is facing up to life in prison.