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Multi-convicted DUI offender charged with killing local deputy and his daughter in crash

A multi-convicted DUI offender accused of killing an off-duty local Riverside County sheriff's deputy and his 19-year-old daughter in a driving-under-the-influence wreck north of San Jacinto was charged today with two counts of second-degree murder.

Scott Brandon Bales, 47, of Moreno Valley was arrested Sunday following the collision that claimed the lives of sheriff's Corporal Daniel Jacks Jr., 45, and his daughter, Hannah Jacks, both of San Jacinto.

Along with the murder counts, Bales is charged with DUI resulting in great bodily injury and a sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegation.   

The defendant is recovering from his injuries in the sheriff's infirmary operated by the Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley. He was not medically cleared to make a scheduled court appearance at the Banning Justice Center Thursday. Superior Court Judge Mark Singerton postponed Bales' arraignment to Nov. 28.   

The defendant is being held on $2 million bail.   

In a statement released Monday, the sheriff's department expressed its collective sadness over the two deaths, noting that Jacks had been a deputy for 14 years.

"Corporal Jacks began his service with the department on Sept. 2, 2008," the agency said. "After graduating the (sheriff's) academy, he was assigned to the Indio Jail. In May 2014, he was transferred to the Palm Desert Station and the following year transferred back to the Indio Jail."

Jacks attained the rank of corporal in March.   

Funeral arrangements were pending. A fundraiser has been set up to support the Jacks family during these difficult times. The fundraiser can be found at: https://helpahero.com/campaign/corporal-daniel-jacks-daughter-hannah-jacks?bclid=IwAR2i6aSHVbbxozVtkmSunoex4N0_JSeRCvaEe63fpCxqeqqVrBd6MbpvviA

According to CHP Officer Jason Montez, the collision happened just after 9 p.m. Sunday on Gilman Springs Road just east of Bridge Street.   

Montez said that Bales was at the wheel of a Chevrolet Silverado with a front-seat passenger going westbound on Gilman Springs when Jacks' Honda Insight approached from the opposite direction on the two-lane corridor, where there is no barrier forming a center median, only double yellow lines.

Montez alleged that Bales' pickup "crossed over the divided highway and traveled into the eastbound traffic lane."  

The Chevy slammed head-on into the Honda, after which both vehicles came to a stop in lanes, according to the CHP spokesman.   

County fire paramedics arrived a short time later and pronounced Jacks and his daughter dead at the scene.  

Bales and his passenger, identified by the CHP only as a 45-year-old Moreno Valley man, were taken to the county medical center for treatment of major injuries.

"Bales was determined to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage at the time of the crash," Montez said.

According to court records, the defendant has three prior DUI convictions -- in 2009, 2011 and 2015. The last one was a felony conviction.   

Under California law, a convicted DUI offender who is aware of the risks of drinking and driving and who causes someone's death because of it can be charged with murder.

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Article Topic Follows: Crime

City News Service

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