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Teen pleads guilty to manslaughter charge in friend’s death

A 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty Tuesday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for causing a crash in Rancho Santa Fe that killed a teenage passenger and seriously injured another classmate.

At a hearing on Dec. 9, the 17-year-old will be placed on probation and could face additional confinement, including possible house arrest or time at a juvenile camp, said defense attorney Robert Grimes.

By the time the teenager is sentenced by Juvenile Court Judge George “Woody” Clarke, he will have spent more than two months in custody at Juvenile Hall, Grimes said.

The youth was driving a car carrying four of his Torrey Pines High School classmates when he crashed the vehicle on a winding road about 1:45 a.m. on Oct. 4 after leaving a party, killing 17-year-old Alex Capozza, who was not wearing a seatbelt and seriously injuring Jamie Arnold.

Two other 17-year-old passengers in the car escaped serious injury.

A California Highway Patrol report said a combination of alcohol and speed contributed to the accident.

Deputy District Attorney Aimee McLeod said the driver’s blood-alcohol content was measured at .10 percent about an hour after the crash.