photo courtesy of 10News
A man who shot at cars on state Route 163 during the morning commute more than two years ago, wounding a college student and damaging the car of another motorist, was convicted Thursday of assault with a firearm and shooting at an occupied vehicle.
Jurors, however, deadlocked 6-6 on two counts of attempted murder in the retrial of Stephen Dragasits.
Prosecutors must now decide if they want to retry the 60-year-old transient for a third time. Judge Charles Gill said he was inclined to dismiss the attempted murder charges if prosecutors decide not to.
Dragasits faces nearly 37 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced July 12.
In her closing argument in the first trial, prosecutor Chandelle Konstanzer said Dragasits deliberately fired from his motor home, which was parked along the freeway, wounding University of San Diego student Ashley Simmons and hitting the car of Jeffrey Lloyd-Jones the morning of April 5, 2011.
Defense attorney Euketa Oliver countered that no one saw Dragasits shoot at anyone.
Konstanzer said Dragasits lived in his RV and liked to hang out in the vicinity of Kearny Mesa Road near the Clairemont Mesa exit.
About a month before the shootings, Dragasits was convicted of throwing large rocks at cars in the same area, the prosecutor said.