Yuba County farmer faces misdemeanor manslaughter charge
A farmer is facing a misdemeanor manslaughter charge in connection with the death last year of a farmworker in a Marysville rice field.
A probable cause statement filed this week in Yuba County Superior Court said Mark P. Dewsnup failed to take basic safety precautions on Oct. 20, 2011, before fixing a broken tractor which caused it to roll over his employee, Rene Rodriguez Gutierrez.
The machine lunged forward and crushed Gutierrez in the rice field in the 9500 block of Mathews Lane in District 10, according to court records.
The Department of Industrial Relations investigated the workplace death.
Dewsnup, 51, was charged earlier this month in Yuba County Superior Court.
Investigators said Dewsnup failed to stop the engine, cut power and left the transmission engaged before servicing a broken throttle cable on a tractor. He is also accused of failing to ensure Gutierrez was clear of the machinery before pulling the accelerator throttle cable, which caused Gutierrez's death, according to investigators.
According to the criminal complaint filed Oct. 11, prosecutors believe Dewsnup acted "without due caution" and "without malice."
Dewsnup is set to appear Dec. 4 for arraignment in Yuba County Superior Court.