Man pleads not guilty to murdering Colusa boy in drunk driving collision

Tony Kesterson

A Susanville man had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf to charges of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing death or injury, child endangerment, and driving on a suspended license.

On April 19, Tony Kesterson, 30, was allegedly driving drunk east on Highway 20 in Sutter County with a 10-year-old boy from Colusa in the car. Kesterson was driving at a high rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle east of South Tarke Road. He hit a concrete wall after crossing the westbound lane. Another driver traveling in the other direction could not stop in time and hit the right read of Kesterson’s car, according to the California Highway Patrol. The boy was killed in the collision.

The Susanville Police Department arrested Kesterson on a murder warrant from the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office on June 25. At his arraignment on Wednesday, Sutter County Public Defender Mark Van den Heuvel entered not guilty pleas to all charges on Kesterson’s behalf.

Kesterson will next appear in court on Oct. 28 at 1:30 p.m. to have the date of his preliminary hearing set. At the preliminary hearing, a judge will determine if there is enough evidence for the case against Kesterson to go to trial.

As of late Wednesday, Kesterson remained in Sutter County Jail on $1 million bail.

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