Alleged drunk driver ordered to stand trial on murder and other charges

A man who was allegedly drunk and driving on a suspended license when he rear-ended a BMW stuck in traffic on Interstate 5 near Del Mar, killing the driver, was recently ordered to stand trial on murder and other charges.

Abraham Beltran, 25, who has prior convictions for driving on a suspended license and driving on a suspended license with excessive alcohol, faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

According to testimony at his preliminary hearing, the defendant was traveling between 81 and 89 mph when his Toyota Camry rear-ended the BMW on northbound I-5 just north of Del Mar Heights Road about 7 a.m. last Feb. 15.

The driver of the 2007 BMW, 52-year-old Oscar Melero of National City, died inside an ambulance.

A 2010 Volvo and a 2001 Nissan were also involved in the collision.

Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said Beltran’s blood-alcohol level was between .11 and .13 percent at the time of driving.

Because of his prior alcohol-related convictions, Beltran had been warned about the dangers of drinking and driving, the prosecutor told Judge Charles Rogers.

The judge found that enough evidence was presented at the preliminary hearing for Beltran to stand trial on charges of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI with injury and driving on a suspended license.

Trial was set for April 18.