Winton man to stand trial in alleged drunken-driving death

08/12/2014 7:23 PM

08/13/2014 9:54 AM

The attorney representing a Winton resident charged with killing another man in 2012 in an alleged drunken-driving crash said Tuesday his client is “very remorseful.”

Edgar Tapia Madrigal, 24, was ordered to stand trial Monday for the Nov. 18, 2012, death of Matthew Frisk, 27, of Atwater. Madrigal has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving on a license suspended for a prior drunken-driving conviction, according to Merced Superior Court records.

Retired Judge Frank Dougherty ordered Madrigal to stand trial Monday, following a preliminary hearing. Madrigal is scheduled to appear again Sept. 12 for arraignment, according to court records.

“Edgar feels very badly about what happened and extends his apologies to the Frisk family,” said Tony Green, the deputy public defender representing Madrigal. “We’re still in the process of trying to resolve this case, and I really shouldn’t say anything further at this time.”

The victim’s mother, Linda Frisk, said she believes Madrigal is remorseful and that he should serve the maximum prison time allowed by law.

“I know everybody else in my family hates him, but I don’t hate him,” Linda Frisk said Tuesday. “I’m sure he didn’t mean to do what he did. But I just feel like he had so many chances before, and he just shouldn’t have been on the road in first place, that he needs to go to prison for the maximum; but I don’t hate him.”

If convicted on all charges, Madrigal is facing 15 years to life in state prison, according to Matthew Serratto, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case.

According to California Highway Patrol reports, Madrigal was driving north about 2 p.m. Nov. 18, 2012, on Winton Way in a green 1996 Honda Civic at 86 mph. He collided with a silver 1997 Nissan Sentra driven by Frisk, who died at the scene. Officers said Madrigal’s blood-alcohol level was officially measured at 0.23, which is nearly three times the legal limit.

Madrigal was convicted of drunken driving in 2011 in Oregon, according to court records, and was driving on a suspended license when Frisk was killed. Madrigal remains at the Merced County Jail with bail set at $1 million, according to booking records.

Friends and family of Matthew Frisk have described him as a fun-loving family man and the father of a young boy. He enjoyed fixing electronics and computers, designing websites at the age of 10. “He was doing so good,” Linda Frisk said of her son. “My grandson is living with me, and we’re getting along, but we’ve had a lot of holidays without him.”

Linda Frisk described Madrigal as “a lost soul.”

“I don’t hold any animosity. A lot of his own life is going to be gone, and he has to deal with God and with what he did, and he has parents and a family, too,” Linda Frisk said. “He needs to be held responsible; he needs his due process in the justice system.”


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