Second person charged in DUI fatality case

Police say man provided driver with alcohol before boy's death

vpatton@mercedsunstar.comApril 4, 2013 

The case of accused drunk driver Justin Nappi took a new turn recently, as prosecutors say they've filed charges against a man who they say supplied alcohol to the defendant before he crashed.

Jason Midiere, 25, will face two misdemeanor counts: furnishing alcohol to a minor, and furnishing alcohol to a person under 21, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Harold Nutt.

Attempts to reach Midiere were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Nappi is accused of causing the fatal Nov. 3 Los Banos crash that killed 10-year-old Jayden Thomas. In its aftermath, hundreds of Los Banos residents turned out for memorial services in support Jayden's family.

According to Nutt, Midiere allegedly obtained the alcohol for a party. Authorities say Nappi, who was 20 at the time, consumed the alcohol and later crashed into the car carrying Jayden and his family.

Los Banos police investigated where Nappi, who is now 21, received the alcohol, determining that Midiere was the source.

"We've determined there is sufficient cause to file charges (against Midiere)," Nutt said.

If convicted, Midiere would face six months to a year in jail. Nutt said he hopes the case will serve as a warning to those consider providing alcohol to underage persons. "I'd like to think it would make someone be a little more careful about who they are providing alcohol to," Nutt said.

Midiere hasn't been arrested, Nutt said, although the defendant will be mailed a notice to appear in court.

Jayden was killed Nov. 3 on his way home from a Los Banos Wildcats peewee football game in Manteca. The Volta Elementary fifth-grader was a passenger in a 1992 BMW, struck by a 1991 Chevy pickup driven by Nappi.

The BMW was hit on its passenger side by Nappi's pickup after he ran a stop sign at the intersection of Place Road and East B Street, authorities say. Jayden was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jayden's parents and two sisters were injured and have been discharged from the hospital.

Nappi faces one count of gross vehicular manslaughter, a count of driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a measurable blood alcohol level causing injury. Each count is a felony and carries enhancements for injuries to other passengers.

Nappi remains in the John Latorraca Correctional Center in lieu of $400,000 bail.

City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsunstar.com.

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