SANTA ANA (CBS) — A twice-convicted drunken driver was arrested Tuesday on murder and DUI charges stemming from a Feb. 13 car crash in Laguna Niguel that killed a pedestrian who was looking for the owner of a stray dog.

Adam Harrison Hall, 27, of Placentia, is also charged with driving under the influence causing bodily injury, with sentence-enhancing allegations of causing bodily injury and causing great bodily injury or death to more than one victim.

Hall was northbound on Moulton Parkway about 11:10 a.m. when he drove his Ford sport utility vehicle through a red light at Nueva Vista Drive and crashed into a Toyota SUV, according to prosecutors.

The Ford jumped the curb and slammed into 48-year-old Mara Lynnes Steves on the sidewalk, according to prosecutors. Steves was trying to find the owner of a stray Labrador retriever named Max. The animal had to undergo emergency veterinary care, but survived.

Hall was allegedly under the influence of multiple anti-anxiety, sedative and sleeping medications, as well as methamphetamine, according to prosecutors.

Hall pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs charge on March 3, 2008, and was sentenced to three years of informal probation and ordered to complete a three-month, first-offender alcohol awareness program, as well as participate in an anti-drunken driving panel through Mothers Against Drunk Driving, according to prosecutors.

Hall was arrested again on May 8, 2008, and pleaded guilty in October of that year to misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years of informal probation and was ordered to complete a 180-day drug and alcohol program and an 18-month multiple offender alcohol program, according to court records.

At that time, Hall was warned he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, prosecutors said.

Hall is being held on $1 million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

Hall faces up to 21 years to life in prison if convicted.

 (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (18)
  1. Johnny Gretchen says:

    He should face the death penalty. If we want America to be responsible we need the citizens to act responsibly.
    When someone makes this many choices and ultimately takes someones life, it is time to end theirs.

    1. Art says:

      you r rite, but would you feel that way if he was Sober at the time of the Murder.

      1. Bob says:

        If he were sober, it wouldn’t be murder… it would be an accident…

  2. idiot above says:

    Art that’s the other problem with america. The what if people. There is no what if here. Get a life….

    1. WizardG says:

      @Idiot above: Your cut and dry grey area approach are the kind of mental illness thought processes that gets innocent people convicted and sentenced to death.

      Also the state murdering of seriously mentally disabled people. You just seem to have no heart. You only think you do. Who knows what kind of contraption beats in your cold chest?

      1. Astonished says:

        WizardG: I have to strongly disagree with you. This person is not mentally disabled nor he is not incompetent. He is an alcoholic (an illness of choice) and an abuser of perscription drugs (again his choice). With the number of drugs he had in his system I’m surprised he didn’t kill more people.

        This person is an adult, who should be able to make adult decisions regarding the safety of himself and others ,AND obeying the law. He didn’t and now one family is greiving the loss of a member and two other people were seriously injured and may never be the same again. He had a duty to make the correct choice and to not do what he did. He failed that duty. He needs to never be allowed to own, drive, or pedal any other type of vehicle again. This isn’t society; the State’s, or the Country’s problem. It is his, and only his.

  3. FTBroadnax says:

    Driving is a privilege, not a right. Sadly this murderer seems like the type that doesn’t care about his own life, let alone anyone else’s so it probably wouldn’t matter to him to drive with or without a license. Two of his DUI’s were within two months of each other, and all three DUI’s occurred in less than three years. He deserves at least the minimum of 21 years of life in prison to contemplate how he viciously and maliciously robbed someone of their right to life all so he could selfishly be under the influence while behind the wheel of his murder weapon.

  4. Tired of this BS says:

    The realy sad part is..with the other news about the state being over crowded in the prisons..even if he gets convicted to life in prison..he will be released in a few months..and free to go drive drunk once again..
    That is why the death penalty should be re-instated and once convicted ..done 10 minutes after the trial..then we as tax payer DON’T have to house them..feed them..give them spa s or gyms to workout in. And to those who say ” it is wrong to kill a killer or it is inhumane ok do this…give them 1 bottle of water..and take a group of say 100 into the dessert during a hot summer..miles from anywhere..set them free..If GOD wants them to live they will..if not then so be it..

    1. Get Some Facts says:

      Its funny hearing God brought up in your comment. You are clearly uneducated and you think you have facts. News flash moron even if the prisons are over crowded, they don’t let violent crimes go early. He will serve 85% of whatever sentence he gets. Also there is no proof that he was intoxicated as of yet. Most of those drugs that he was allegedly on stay in your system for weeks even months. Just because he is a drug addict does not mean he was on drugs. The DA will have to present that evidence when the time is right. For now he is innocent until proven guilty. I feel for the family, this is a tragic situation and nothing can fix it. I know Adam personally, and he is not a bad guy, I’m sure he didn’t wake up and want to go kill someone that day. Im sure he will get about 15 years to think about it though.

      1. Astohished says:

        Get Some Facts: New flash to you. This is not considered a violent crime. He could definitely be out in far less time than it took the police to investigate this. As for the drugs. Whether you agree with me about this or not is irrelevant. He chose to drive while impaired. The list of drugs found in his system proves that. This means he chose to endanger others. His actions prove that while he may not be a bad guy in your book (aka gangster type), and you may be right in saying that he didn’t wake up and want to go out and kill someone, the point is HE DIDN’T THINK AT ALL! He has clearly proven that he is a danger to anyone else around him.

    2. RJ says:

      I totally agee with you!! Great Post.

  5. marie says:

    i do not and will never understand why the Lord takes the innocent and leaves the ones that cause harm. But we can look at it like this, maybe the woman that the disturbed man killed was right with God. this man obviously isnt and needs time to get his act together. I have worked in places that allow people to do their community service there. most will repeat their offenses but some see the error in their ways find God and make a change for the better

    1. MachoMan says:

      When will people (like you Marie) learn to cope with life without rationalizing it through a “belief.” You think a divine entity would allow countless injustices to happen in this world? Is it beyond you and others that life is a random series of events? Is that too scary to think about? Humans are self-aware animals. We are autonomous beings. Actions and decisions create events. Mara made hers, and Adam the like. This is the outcome.

  6. Anonymous says:

    People complain to much. Go out an make a difference! I feel sorry for all the lives that have been altered because of this event – INCLUDING Adam’s family!

  7. Wake Up says:

    Adam chose to take methamphetamin. He already had 2 prior DUI arrests. He chose to drive that morning. He caused All of the pain and misery. He needs to be put away for life without the chance of parole. The world will be a safer place for everyone when that happens.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dear MachoMan, is it ok for you to preach randomness and not ok for Marie to profess her faith in God? Think about that!

  9. ANONYMOUS says:

    I NOTICED THAT OUT OF ALL THE COMMENTS POSTED THAT ONLY ONE OF YOU ACTUALLY KNEW ADAM PERSONALLY, I DID AS WELL. I KNEW HIM PROBABLY BETTER THAN MOST RIGHT AFTER THIS TRAGEDY OCCURED. This was a FREAK-ACCIDENT! Unfortunately, this is an individual that I was very close to who suffered with the disease of severe drug addiction and alcoholism. His use was escalating and getting very out of control, AGAIN in his life, and after he killed Mara he thought that MAYBE he might go to jail but wasn’t sure. Shockingly too, he seemed to not even care or own up to anything. You could tell of his unhappiness (he never smiled and he would ask friends to try to make him laugh to feel something again) I guess the guilt and hiding everything only made things worse (very few knew he had been the one on the news who ran the red light and caused this crash). After the accident, for the past few months, he has just been drowning himself with TONS of narcotics and alcohol everyday, including meth and heroin. It was as if there was nothing to be done to save this person. Before this arrest, he was already gone and honestly probably would have overdosed and died at some point in the near future. NO ONE could have saved him or her or have stopped this frightening event from happening. He made the decision for the both of them. He carried himself in a very intelligent, wealthy, and successful manner also, so no one really suspected him of doing such illegal activities, or even killing someone. As much as I cared about Adam, what he did was just heartbreaking to all the innocent people involved. His selfish and reckless decisions have made so many suffer! He absolutely should not have been driving that day he hit Mara and the other party in the accident. Adam did not intent to commit murder but he did and its a tragedy all around. Life is all about the decisions we make! The truth is, everyone is safer without him around. He wasn’t an awful person but he had a very dark heart with many demons to bare. This all may have happened for a reason, thank god investigators finally got on his toxicity records when he was taken to the hospital or this may have continued and more lives would be lost. This is such a shame.

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