Fingered by Last-Minute Witness, Gantan Denies Drinking Night of Deadly Accident

September 17, 2013 | In a scene reminiscent of a television courtroom drama, a last-minute witness testified today that she drank alcoh...

September 17, 2013 |

In a scene reminiscent of a television courtroom drama, a last-minute witness testified today that she drank alcohol with Heile Gantan in the time leading up to the car accident that killed an Elk Grove man.

Gantan is accused of driving and crashing a car that killed 20-year old Oscar Ivan Camero while under the influence and leaving the scene of the accident while co-defendant Ladonna Torres is accused of leaving the accident scene.

Ariel Alexis Gilmore of Sacramento was contacted Monday night and called by Torres’ attorney Alina Mendez and appeared in the final witness rebuttal portion of the trial. During her testimony, Gilmore said that she drank alcohol with Gantan in the hours leading up to the May 29, 2011 early morning accident that killed Camero.

Gilmore said she met Gantan and the others on the evening of Saturday, May 28 and later met at Gantan’s parent’s Elk Grove house to bake cupcakes and drink alcohol. Gilmore said when she arrived at the house, the alcohol was already there.

When asked by Mendez if she saw how the alcohol affected Gantan, Gilmore said she appeared to be drunk.

“Yeah, you could see it when she was walking,” Gilmore said.

During cross examination by Gantan’s attorney Don Masuda, Gilmore was asked if she had information about the events, why it took so long to contact law enforcement.

“I thought everyone knew she drank,” Gilmore said.

The second person to testify was Kim Nguyen, who appeared as a rebuttal witness for Torres. During her testimony Nguyen acknowledged she is the current girlfriend of Torres and is currently living with Gilmore.

Nguyen said she had smoked marijuana with Gantan and was with her on a couple of occasions including an encounter at the Lucky Chance Casino in Colma, Calif. Mendez asked Nguyen how Gantan appeared at the casino.

“She was drunk,” Nguyen said. “She was making rude comments.”

During Deputy District Attorney Keri Reeve’s questioning, Nguyen was asked if anyone forced Gantan to smoke marijuana. Nguyen acknowledged that Gantan willingly participated and enjoyed both smoking marijuana and drinking.

Masuda called Gantan as his final witness and focused his questioning on whether or not she has ever drunk alcohol with Gilmore.

“Did you drink,” Masuda asked.

“No, I did not,” Gantan replied.

Masuda also asked about a previously introduced Facebook message from Gilmore to Gantan implying that she was drunk.

“When you see the reference to ‘your drunk ass,’” Masuda said, “what did you think?”

“I thought that it was a joke, because within that group everyone made fun of me because I don’t drink,” Gantan said.

Gantan agreed with Masuda’s statement that she thought it was a sarcastic remark or a joke. Gantan said she saw Nguyen at the casino, but denied that she had been drinking or acting rude.

During Reeve’s cross examination of Gantan, she pressed Gantan that it was still her claim that she doesn’t drink alcohol at all.

“It is still your testimony, despite being a point-one-o [0.10] on your blood test and having a witness come in to testify that she actually took shots with you, that you don’t drink alcohol,” Reeve asked.

“That is my statement, yes,” she replied.

After receiving instructions, jury deliberations are expected to start tomorrow afternoon.

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7 comments

60's kid said...

This is very sad. Lord knows when I was their age, I did my share of drinking and driving, admittedly, those were very bad decisions. I was lucky, very lucky.

These folks, not so lucky. One dead, and two other lives that will have to deal daily with regret and sorrow for the rest of their lives.

I only wish today's kids would take accountability for their actions instead of blaming someone else or just refusing to admit that they did something wrong. I was raised to accept responsibility and admit when I made a mistake, but it seems to me today's kids generally have been taught or allowed to escape accountability. - That doesn't bode well for our future.

My thoughts and prayers go out to EVERYONE affected by this tragedy. So senseless.

Anonymous said...

I hope Heile Gantan gets what she deserves. I cant believe she would even think about lying the way she did and putting blame on others for her wrongful actions. I personally have taken shots with her before and have even smoked with her as well. Hopefully the jury can look past her lies. Oscar was an amazing person and was also a good friend of LaDonna's. LaDonna is very sweet and one of the friendliest people i know. I know she would never do such a thing.

Disgusted MTHS said...

Heile is trying to portray herself as some little angel, but people who know here know better.

Anonymous said...

She is no angel

Anonymous said...

RIP Oscar, we miss you <333

Anonymous said...

I hope the jury can see passed Helie's lies, I mean lying under oath? But portraying your a big believer in god? Heile.. God knows your lying and you do to. Do right by Oscar, who I know was a great friend to you and all of us. Admit to your wrongs and take accountability for what you are responsible for. Free Ladonna of your lies and own up to your shit. Straight up.

Anonymous said...

RIP OSCAR IVAN CAMERO

I MISS YOU MY BROTHAAAA!

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