VISTA — From the moment Anthony Boles was pulled from a horrific accident near Pala Casino, he has been adamant that he was not behind the wheel when the vehicle he was in slammed into a vehicle killing two North County couples.
“I would take my own rap,” said Boles from the witness stand June 17 during a trial, in which his friend, Deanna Fridley, is charged with causing the late evening Dec. 14, 2007, crash on Highway 76 while drunk and high on drugs.
Prosecutors allege Fridley, 26, was driving her GMC Yukon when she crashed head-on with a Toyota Camry killing Jesus De Santiago, 45, and his wife, Lina De Santiago, 46, both of Escondido, and Vista couple Luis Baez, 51, and his wife, Rubi Baez, 46. The couples had been longtime friends who traveled weekly to local casinos for entertainment and dinner.
Deputy District Attorney Brenda Daly has said Fridley had been drinking and using methamphetamines on the day of the crash. Following the accident, police found the drug in Boles’ sock.
Fridley, of Palm Springs, is charged with four counts of murder, as well as other charges, and faces multiple life terms in prison if convicted of the killings. A surveillance tape from Pala shows Fridley entering the driver side of the Yukon and Boles getting into the passenger seat around 11:47 p.m.— about three minutes before the crash was reported to 911.
Though Fridley and her attorney, James Boyd, point to Boles, 26, as the driver of her vehicle, claiming that shortly after the two left the casino they swapped positions in the vehicle because Fridley was too intoxicated to drive.
Police initially suspected Boles as the driver, who was a parolee with a suspended license at the time; however, a month after the accident Fridley was charged with being the driver.
Boles testified Fridley was driving fine, but then started speeding up and passing cars. Authorities believe the sport utility vehicle was traveling around 85 mph when the accident occurred. Witnesses have said the SUV left its lane and upon returning slammed into a guardrail causing the vehicle to careen out of control into the Camry, which was being driven by Jesus De Santiago.
Both Fridley and Boles had blood alcohol levels above the state’s legal limit of .08 percent following the fiery collision, police said.
Despite being a self-proclaimed “man of his word,” Boles admitted under cross-examination by Boyd that he did initially lie to police about the methamphetamine belonging to him.
Fridley is expected to testify at the trial. She remains in custody on $3 million bail.