April 5, 2016 (San Diego County District Attorney) DDA Aimee McLeod Recognized For Work Prosecuting DUI Homicides
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced today that Deputy District Attorney Aimee McLeod was recently named San Diego County Deputy District Attorney of the Year at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the California Office of Public Safety 2016 DUI Law Enforcement Recognition Awards Luncheon. The award recognizes stellar work by a prosecutor.
“I am so proud of Deputy DA Aimee McLeod,” DA Dumanis said. “She is a tenacious prosecutor and skilled trial lawyer who handles each case with compassion and integrity. We are lucky to have her on the DA’s DUI Homicide team pursuing justice in San Diego.”
DDA McLeod began her career at the DA’s Office as a legal intern in 2005 and was eventually hired in 2007 as a post-bar Graduate Law Clerk assigned to the Gang Unit. In 2008 she was hired as a Deputy District Attorney in the South Bay branch where she tried 17 misdemeanor jury trials that year, most of them DUI offenses. In 2009, she was transferred to the Juvenile branch where she handled the first DUI vehicular manslaughter juvenile case in which the court allowed the press inside the courtroom for the sentencing hearing. Aimee also handled many complex and serious narcotics cases as part of the Jurisdictions Unified for Drug Gang Enforcement unit.
In 2014, she accepted the grant funded position in the newly created DUI Homicide Unit, where she focused solely on vehicular manslaughters and DUI homicide cases in which the defendants are charged for murder. McLeod currently carries a case load of four DUI murder cases and five vehicular manslaughter cases.
DDA McLeod was able to secure a conviction during her most recent trial in People v. Brandy Teague, in El Cajon, where the defendant crashed her car into a pole while under the influence of methadone and methamphetamine. The defendant had three of her young children in the car and in the crash, her three-year-old daughter was killed and her 20-month-old son suffered a fractured femur. The driver’s 10-year-old son, who thought the crash was his fault because he was supposed to keep his mother awake, suffered a large gash to his eyelid. After a two week trial, the jury convicted the defendant of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and three counts of child abuse. Teague is facing more than 16 years in prison when sentenced.
The goals of the DA’s DUI Homicide Unit include streamlining complex DUI cases by creating expertise within the office. This results in a quicker resolution to cases and speedier justice to the families who have lost a loved one. Having a specialized unit creates uniformity in sentencing among the four adult courthouses. In addition, the unit helps law enforcement adapt to changes in technology by having a designated DA Investigator who is trained in the latest techniques in collision reconstruction.