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Alleged DUI killer pleads not guilty

Marco Antonio Valencia, 21, accused of driving truck into bicyclists July 11, killing one

Posted: December 24, 2009 5:12 p.m.
Updated: December 25, 2009 8:30 a.m.
 
SAN FERNANDO — A Canyon Country man accused of killing a bicyclist and injuring others while driving drunk and high on drugs pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

After Marco Antonio Valencia, 21, pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal counts and several enhancements, Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen ordered him to return to court for a pretrial conference on Jan. 22.

The charges include murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with a suspended license and several DUI charges, according to court documents.

On July 11, Valencia allegedly hit a group of bicyclists on a remote, winding stretch of Bouquet Canyon Road just before speeding off.

The crash killed Joseph Novotny, who was reportedly a Santa Clarita Velo cycling club member who had recently moved from Belgium to Stevenson Ranch.

Test results show that Valencia had a blood alcohol level of .18 percent ­— more than double the legal limit — and was high on methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana at the time of the crash, prosecutors said during a recent preliminary hearing.

The allegations follow two DUI convictions in 2007 and 2008, according to court documents.

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