Adenhart’s Murderer: “MY Life Ended That Night”

Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard F. Toohey made a statement today in the severity of his sentencing of the murderer of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, student Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson.

Murderer

(And?)

24-year-old Andrew Thomas Gallo’s earliest possible parole date will be in 2050 following a 51 years-to-life sentence handed down to him by Judge Toohey.

Harsh? No.

Three months ago I noted testimony from Gallo’s stepbrother Raymond Rivera, who detailed the aftermath of a crash that left three innocents dead and another internally decapitated:

Rivera testified that he woke up in the passenger seat after the impact and turned to see his stepbrother unbuckling his seat belt.

Q. Did he say anything to you?

A. “…he said, “run bitch.

Then there’s the strange statement Gallo made to Judge Toohey and the families of the victims today, in what apparently was an attempt for sentencing leniency.

Andrew Gallo: Murder Victims

(Families of Gallo’s victims today)

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Drunk Driver After Adenhart Crash: “Run Bitch

Larry Welborn of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER reports that secret Orange County (CA) Grand Jury testimony that led to Andrew Thomas Gallo being charged with three counts of second-degree murder and several other serious felonies for his role in the April 8, 2009, death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two young adult passengers has been released.

Nick Adenhart's Killer Thomas Gallo

The testimony comes from Gallo’s stepbrother Raymond Rivera, who claimed to the Grand Jury that he was the one responsible for Gallo driving drunk the night Adenhart was killed by the Gallo-driven vehicle in an intersection collision. (Gallo ran a red light.) Gallo, who was driving with a suspended license after a recent DUI conviction was later found to have an alcohol level over three times the legal limit on the night in question.

Rivera told the Grand Jury that he was to be Gallo’s designated driver the night of April 8, 2009, but, “when I ordered the shot, it kind of changed the way the night would unfold.

Welborn reports that the night of drinking and driving began as Rivera and Gallo were “celebrating the arrival of a government relief check.

More details from the previously unreleased Grand Jury documents:

• Rivera testified that the duo started drinking at about 4 p.m. on April 8, 2009 at Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant and bar in West Covina, and continued to drink for about seven hours, consuming Newcastle, Amber Bock, Sam Adams and Arrogant Bastard beers, and at least one shot of 1800 Tequila. Read more…

L.A. Douses Adenhart Jersey In Celebratory Booze

It was a foregone conclusion for most of the month, but the Angels finally wrapped up their third straight AL West title last night, wiping out division contender Texas with a 11-0 shutout. It was a bittersweet moment for a team who have quietly established a near-stranglehold on the division, but who still misses a fellow player taken from them just six months ago.

Nick Adenhart Jersey Celebration

After their win but before the media showed up, manager Mike Scioscia addressed his team and reminded them - though they probably didn’t need it - that the win also belonged just as much to killed rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart as to the rest of them. To the Angels’ credit, they did exactly that. It’s just that pouring their beer and champagne on his jersey, all things considered, might be taken the wrong way.

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Awful New Details On Adenhart DUI Driver Emerge

The ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER has new information from the grand jury investigation into the car crash that killed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart. And if you didn’t already have the overwhelming urge to see accused DUI driver Andrew Gallo murdered in the most sadistic and cruel manner possible before, you will after reading about his actions in the aftermath of the crash that killed Adenhart and two others near Angels Stadium in April.

Andrew Gallo

Not only did Gallo admit to police officers after the crash that he “absolutely” should not have been driving the night of the crash, he was apparently so hammered that he has no idea why he was in Fullerton in the first place since he and his step-brother had been drinking in Covina (almost 25 miles away).  Especially since he “had never been in the city of Fullerton, doesn’t know anyone in the city of Fullerton and doesn’t know why he would be in the city of Fullerton.”

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Speed Read: Sox Spank Yanks Again At Fenway

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only June, but the folks in New York can’t be pleased that the Yankees dropped to 0-7 against the Red Sox this year with a 6-5 loss at Fenway last night. To put it in perspective, the last time this happened the Yankees weren’t even the Yankees. It was 1912, and the New York Highlanders (and here I thought there could only be one Highlander) were the ones who couldn’t buy a win against the Sox.

Red Sox spank Yankees

(This is about the only Red Sox spanking Yankee fans wouldn’t mind)

Even more worrisome for New York is the continued debacle that is Chien-Ming Wang. After giving up four runs in 2 2/3 innings, Wang now has a 21.61 ERA in five starts this year — the highest ERA through five starts for a pitcher in the freaking history of baseball. Joe Girardi seems exasperated as to what to do with Wang. They’ve already done the DL thing, and NEW YORK TIMES notes that he was hitting 95 on the gun last night, so it would be hard to argue that he’s hurt again.

Chien-Ming Wang

Mark Teixeira clearly isn’t the problem for the Yankees, as he went 4-for-5 with his league-leading 19th home run. But that doesn’t matter, since A-Rod is signaling to Tex where the catcher is setting up when he’s in the on-deck circle. What, you think that’s crazy talk that only some loose-cannon “analyst” who also thinks that George Clooney is “over there solving that thing” could come up with? Well, OK, you’d be right. AWFUL ANNOUNCING says Rick Sutcliffe has gotten into some hot water with the Yankee duo after accusing them of the pitch tipping on an ESPN broadcast with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

In any case, Boston has reclaimed a one-game lead in the AL East, which is remarkable considering they’ve gotten nothing out of David Ortiz, Daisuke Matsuzaka has been mostly a mess in his few starts, Josh Beckett just recently got his act together, they still don’t really have a shortstop, and this guy is milling around Fenway:

Red Sox Fans

Tim Floyd was pushed off a cliff by USC resigned from his position as head coach of USC yesterday in the wake of the O.J. Mayo scandal, and ESPN’s Andy Katz put together a column that lists all of the questions that are now left to be answered in the wake of this move. Katz theorizes, among other things, that Floyd might be USC’s sacrificial lamb in the NCAA’s investigation against the school’s football and basketball programs.

Tim Floyd and OJ Mayo

Floyd’s resignation comes in the wake of most of his team declaring that they wouldn’t be coming back anyway, for various reasons. Marcus Johnson jumped through all of the hoops to earn a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility, then suddenly decided to stay in the NBA draft, where he’s not expected to be picked. Daniel Hackett is even blowing off his senior season to also not get picked by an NBA team. Think they know something we don’t (yet) about where this program is heading, even with Floyd’s departure?

So now what for the Trojans? Would Jamie Dixon, who grew up in So Cal, be up for rebuilding the program? What about Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s? Rick Pitino? OK, now we’re just getting silly. Which means that Bobby Knight makes all sorts of sense.

Now, here are some things to read while Tom Brady waits to get rescued after flipping his kayak over:

HALOS HEAVEN has a huge break in the Nick Adenhart case, as toxicology reports show that Courtney Stewart, the 20-year-old driver of the car Adenhart was riding in, had a BAC of .016 at the time of her death. That’s twice the legal limit for an adult, and infinity times the limit for a 20-year-old (actually, California generously allows an underager to blow up to a .01 without consequence). ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY’s Nick Schou is the one who obtained the toxicology reports, against the wishes of the DA’s office.

Courtney Stewart tox report

While it still doesn’t come close to excusing Andrew Gallo’s choice to drive drunk, and it doesn’t change the fact that Gallo is the one who ran a red light to cause the crash, it certainly is now reasonable for Gallo’s lawyer to argue that Stewart’s impairment could’ve played just as large a role in the accident as his client did. TMZ also reports that Stewart tested positive for an “illegal substance.” Still a horrible tragedy all around, but this definitely calls Adenhart’s judgment into question, as it looks like he chose to get into a car with an underage drunk (and possibly high) driver. What if Stewart had been sober? Would she have been able to see Gallo running the light and stop in time? We’ll never know.

• D.C. SPORTS BOG exposes what is either an unholy union between the Redskins and that LOL cats site, or somebody hacked the ‘Skins website and put a kitty’s picture in place of Jason Campbell (and really, you have the ability to hack into an NFL team’s site and that’s what you do?):

Redskins website cat

• Elsewhere in D.C., we found out last night exactly how many Nats fans would wait through a rain delay to see if their team could come back from a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the 9th inning — less than 100. That’s how many folks were on hand after a two hour delay to see their team rally to tie the game, only to lose it in the 12th. This despite converting the popular 4-3-6-4-6 double play in that inning.

• Everyone’s been talking about Zack Greinke all year, but Justin Verlander might be the best pitcher in the AL Central. He cruised to a complete-game victory over the White Sox last night to move to 7-0 in his last nine starts.

• Boy, who could’ve ever predicted that Jameer Nelson might not play that well in the Finals after not having played a game since before the All-Star break?

• If things keep going the way they are, according the WASHINGTON POST, the entire LPGA Tour will soon be available for you to hire for your bachelor party.

Play Golf Designs

We know that Joe Montana’s kid has committed to play football at Washington, but current Huskies QB Jake Locker had some big news of his own today — he was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round of the MLB draft. If Locker signs a baseball contract, he’ll still be eligible to play football for UW but will lose his scholarship.

Marcin Gortat has a sweet ride to go with that Jordan tattoo.

Marcin Gortat car

Brett Favre is apparently in trouble for not showing up to organized team activities for a team he doesn’t even play for. Favre’s non-coach, Brad Childress, says he set no deadline for Favre to accept the team’s non-offer to play for them. For now, the Vikings are now going to feign disinterest in having Favre around but will eventually pass him a note asking him if he’d want to go to training camp with them.

• Funny how everyone is so bent out of shape about Stephen Strasburg asking for $25 million or more to pitch for the Nationals, but nobody bats an eye when fifth-overall pick Mark Sanchez gets $28 million in guaranteed money from the Jets. But think of all the nice stuff Mark can buy for girlfriend Hilary Rhoda:

Hilary Rhoda

Knowing now that the underage driver of Nick Adenhart’s car had been drinking, does that change your view of the accident?

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Speed Read: NBC, NHL Screw Local Hockey Fans

One of the most jarring aspects of the Stanley Cup finals, other than the ease with which the Red Wings dispatched the Penguins on Sunday night to push the series to 3-2, has been NBC’s hardball with fans in Detroit and Pittsburgh. For the duration of the playoffs, both teams have been able to hold massive viewing parties in and outside their arenas. It was such a wonderful, organic expression of the communal nature of fandom that it was basically destined to be ruined by business in short order.

JoeVision Detroit Red Wings
(Thousands of fans watching the game with each other? Nope, can’t have this!)

And lo, in stepped NBC, stopping the broadcasts. As HOCKEYBUZZ.COM reported, initially, they blamed the NHL, despite the NHL’s assertion that that was quite not the case. Then came the truth, that it was a business decisions (all the crappy ones are), and their “business is ratings driven.” CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS has the, ahem, money quote:

A near-sellout of Joe Louis could shave a ratings point off the local television ratings measurement, and such ratings are used to establish advertising rates.

So to that, if the all-important ratings model can’t deal with 8-10 thousand people watching a show in one place on one screen, you know what? The ratings model is completely worthless.  Seriously. How can NBC or Nielsen not figure out what to do with a giant honking party of some of the most hardcore fans all watching one screen? Is that really a deal-breaker?

And if so, if they’re really curious as to what the ratings would look like if everyone stays home, away from the shared community aspect from which most of the value of a ticket to a game is derived, there’s a really easy answer to all of this. You ready? Dick Ebersol, you taking notes?

All NBC has to do is announce that in exchange for showing the game outside both arenas, attending fans have to fill out a simple, anonymous survey about where they would otherwise watch a game (their place or someone else’s), with how many people, and whatever other information the network needs to most closely approximate what ratings would look like. Use that and Nielsen data to extrapolate what the final ratings would be with that many eyes on a TV, and adjust. That’s it. Easy.

This is a rare, rare opportunity for the NHL and NBC. At no other point are they ever going to be able to get this kind of a free pool of television watchers from whom they can mine valuable demographic information. Forcing them back into their homes and away from a group of thousands of like-minded, passionate fans for the sake of moving a needle one or two points does the city, fanbase, and team a disservice. It’s so easy to work around. Figure it out.

Speaking of soccer [I thought we were talking about hockey. No, I’m dead certain of it.–ed.] [Shut up.–AJ] [You have problems.–ed.], UEFA just got a seismic news flash as Real Madrid, evidently furious at having seen FC Barca take the title, has bought the contract of Kaka from AC Milan. Too bad UEFA contract holder SETANTA SPORTS probably won’t survive to see him in the new kit.

Kaka Kiss
(This is where we mention Kaka’s wife and fine whatever you’re all perverts.)

Kaka, a sensational striker from the one-word-name factory that is Brazil, will reportedly command a 6-year, $94 million contract. That’s enough to make it the most expensive in soccer’s history, barely beating out Zinedine Zidane’s 6-year, $65 million deal with Juventus from eight years ago. Meanwhile, David Beckham is running around for a crappy MLS team in Los Angeles for 30 cents on the dollar and going home to a bag of antlers with oversized sunglasses and the “I’m married, but still vain” haircut straight from Jon & Kate + 8. Sic transit gloria mundi: Glory is fleeting.

We mentioned Andrew Thomas Gallo, the man accused of killing Angels rookie Nick Adenhart and two others in a drunk driving collision, yesterday. Gallo pled not guilty to murder, drunk driving, and fleeing the scene of an accident charges yesterday. Great.

Nick Adenhart Killed In Hit and Run Accident
(No, nothing criminal led to this. No way.)

But as we (rightfully) focus on the three people killed far before their time, we should point out that one passenger in Adenhart’s car, 24-year-old Jon Wilhite, has, in fact, survived the crash that left him in critical condition (via the RIVERSIDE PRESS-ENTERPRISE). Wait, that doesn’t appropriately convey the gravity of what happened. He survived internal decapitation.

As MANOLITH explains, internal decapitation, which is exactly as horrifying and life-threatening as it sounds, happens when the skull detaches from the spinal column. It’s usually fatal. Wilhite somehow survived without total paralysis, which is unbelievably rare, and he’s now in rehab with the help of several major leaguers. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s on the right track.

Since we need to get back on a higher note, here are some more links to consider while you’re riding in a cab with former Beach Boy Brian Wilson:

Nick Collison Red Afro
(Yes.)

What do the Raiders need the most on offense?

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Lakers Win Due To No Goaltending Call On Gasol?

• The Lakers had a tougher time in Game 2, needing overtime to beat the Magic - and no goaltending calls on Courtney Lee’s final regulation shot.

Paul Gasol, Lakers

• Could Pacman Jones be wocka-wocka-walking back to the Cowboys?

Chad Johnson Ochocinco embraces his newfound “Mexican” heritage by already planning his 1st TD celebration - hanging a pinata on the goalpost & whacking it with an end zone pylon.

• Hope you Memphis Redbirds fans have fun tonight during Stubby Clapp Appreciation Night!

• Recently retired Rodney Harrison rants about how the NFL is turning soft & pansy-esque.

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Drunk Driver Pleads Not Guilty In Adenhart Death

In case everything surrounding the collision that killed Angels rookie Nick Adenhart and two others wasn’t depressing enough, it’s time to introduce another, different soul-crushing aspect to the mix: the protracted legal battle.

Nick Adenhart's Killer Thomas Gallo

That’s because Andrew Thomas Gallo, the accused drunk driver, has pled not guilty to the three counts of murder, the one count of drunk driving, and the one count of fleeing an accident that he faces. So unless there’s a plea deal for something like three counts of manslaughter and DUI following closely behind, get ready for this case to be on the news. A lot.

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You Can’t And Shouldn’t Buy An Adenhart Jersey

Everyone remembers the dead in their own way. Some people write songs, some people get tattoos, and some people build a simple monument.

Adenhart jersey
(Not coming to a fan near you.)

Absent from the memorial process, though is merchandising; they don’t sell t-shirts at funerals, after all. To that end, when you try to order a Nick Adenhart jersey at MLB.com, the site rejects the order. It’s not out of reverence for the Adenhart family, though; it’s apparently a strange roster-based idiosyncrasy:

“Your current entry cannot be processed. Some entries are prohibited due to guidelines for past and present player names. Please create a new entry.”

You’re probably reading that and thinking, “huh?” Read more…

Speed Read: Rumor Mill Heats Up Valley Of Sun

We last left the never-ending stand-up comedy routine that is Shaquille O’Neal’s life as he was engaging in a prank battle with Suns rookie Louis Admunson. But then came word that he might soon be taking his show on the road, as the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reported that the big man expected to be heading to New Orleans in the off-season in a trade for Tyson Chandler.

Shaquille O'Neal

While the prospect of O’Neal - who had something resembling a career resurgance this past season - joining Chris Paul and David West might make Hornets fans (hello, anyone?)  scream like a teenage girl bumping into Joe Jonas at an am/pm, the TIMES-PICAYUNE says that they can save their voices. They looked at the trade and said that the numbers just don’t work - basically, the Hornets would have to trade $8 million more in player salaries in addition to Chandler’s, which doesn’t help their goal of trimming salary to stay under the cap.

Anquan Boldin

So while the Suns’ trade of Shaq might have stalled, the same isn’t true of Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Anquan Boldin. First, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS said that Boldin appeared as a guest on Michael Irvin’s radio show and pretty much pleaded to be traded:

As for getting traded Boldin said, “I just want to get it resolved, it’s been going on way too long.” Later he said, “it would hurt but at the same time, change is necessary. My only problem has been management, always has been.”

While this was happening, the ARIZONA REPUBLIC was reporting that the Cardinals have changed their course and are now open” to listening to trade offers for Boldin, who has two years left on his contract, but still prefer to resign him. Boldin mentioned in his interview that he’d love to play in the NFC East. With basically every team in the division needing a go-to wide receiver, it certainly is an attractive option.

And while this all was happening, on the other side of the country former Delaware football player Julian James was hungry - really hungry.  The DELAWARE NEWS-JOURNAL says that a video surveillance camera at an off-campus apartment complex allegedly shows James entering an unlocked apartment and leaving with loot, while unsuccessfully trying to get into six other apartment. His haul?

Julian James

“100 frozen chicken wings, a pound of frozen salmon, 18 frozen Hot Pockets and 20 hamburger patties worth a total value of $82.”

Or as John Kruk would call that, “lunch.” I hope they recovered the stolen food before James had a chance to eat it; Otherwise, I’d think the state’s Exhibit A in the trial is going to be pretty smelly and disgusting.

  • What’s hotter than Miss America in a basketball jersey? How about Miss America in a basketball jersey draining an NBA 3-pointer. INDY CORN ROWS says current Miss America Katie Stam did just that before a Pacers game last night.
  • Miss America with the Pacers

  • What happens when a stick from an opposing team’s player gets stuck halfway through the glass in Boston? As PUCK DADDY says, it turned into a tug-of-war between Montreal’s Alexei Kovalev and a Bruins fan during the Canadiens’ 4-2 loss, with the stick breaking in half. If this were the 1970s and the Bruins were playing the Rangers, Mike Milbury would have made sure someone ate some leather.
  • Congratulations to Ichiro, who the SEATTLE TIMES reports set the record for most hits by a Japanese baseball player with a fourth inning single, giving him 3,086 for his career in Japan and the U.S. So that’s what was causing his bleeding ulcer.
  • As if the Flyers needed an obstacle in trying to take down the Penguins in their NHL first-round playoff series: the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS says that Philadelphia enforcer Daniel Carcillo has been suspended for Game 2 after giving a “message” hit to the back of the head of Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot at the end of the Flyers’ Game 1 loss.
  • In the wake of Nick Adenhart’s tragic death and with the Angels’ nearly tragic bus crash from 1992 still on longtime team fans’ minds, HALOS HEAVEN looks at MLB’s contingency plans in case of a catastrophic accident that wipes out a team. George Costanza can rest easy tonight.
  • The ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH says that Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter left the team’s game against the Cubs in the fourth inning with a strained oblique. How did he get the injury? Taking a swing during an earlier at-bat. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE THE DH, PEOPLE!
  • Remember when the Cavs fans got on LeBron James’ case when he dribbled out the ball with the team needing one more point to ensure fans a free Taco Bell item? The CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER says King James was still ticked about Chalupagate as he addressed the fans before the team’s home finale.
  • If I am Kurt Busch and my NASCAR career has stalled, the one person I wouldn’t be yelling at during a race is his car owner, racing legend Roger Penske. FROM THE MARBLES agrees, and has the audio and video proof (about 55 seconds in):

  • Kenyon Martin on Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof to SI.COM after Maloof demanded an apology after Martin gave a hard foul to the Kings’ Spencer Hawes: “Apologize to him? I’m not apologizing to him. I apologized to Spencer after the game, but before he opens his mouth he needs to know what’s going on.” Guess someone just got uninvited to the Palms VIP suites this off-season.
  • Congratulations to former Arizona basketball star Eugene Edgerson, who the ARIZONA DAILY STAR says was arrested for his second domestic abuse charge within the past two months. Edgerson currently plays for the Harlem Globetrotters, leading me to wonder if his wife is the Washington Generals of marriage.

With Stephen A. Smith out the door, which ESPN talking head should be the next to get the ax?

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