Thursday, June 24, 2021


Trial set for Princeton man

The man accused of deliberately crashing into an ATV in Princeton and seriously injuring a teenage girl in May is heading to trial.   

Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson set Feb. 3 for Raymond Michael Zapien, 31, of Princeton, to stand trial for attempted murder and other felony charges stemming from a traffic collision on May 31.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Zapien was driving northbound on Highway 45 with his girlfriend, Skye Flores, 33, of Oroville, and her 15-year-old son, when he allegedly veered off the road and struck a stalled ATV, driven by Destiny Sorrels, 18, of Princeton.

The CHP said Zapien and Flores were involved in an argument prior to the ATV collision, and that the crash may have been an attempt to kill himself, Flores, and her son.

Following the crash with the ATV, Zapien attempted to drive away from the scene, when a separate vehicle, driven by Good Samaritan Kyle Wills, pulled in front of the Buick to block Zapien’s escape.

Zapien then crashed into Wills’ vehicle, disabling his own vehicle, and then fled the scene on foot, the CHP said.

Sorrels suffered serious neck and other injuries and was airlifted to Enloe Hospital following the collision. Wills suffered minor injuries, the CHP said.

Flores, who is charged with child endangerment, and Zapien’s sister, Veronica Zapien, of Princeton, were later charged by the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office with conspiracy to commit a crime for allegedly spiriting Zapien away from Colusa County following the collision and hiding his whereabouts during the investigation.

Zapien was arrested in Yuba City on June 24, after nearly a month on the run.

Colusa County District Attorney, Matthew Beauchamp, said the trial of Zapien and Flores, whose cases will be handled together, could last up to three days.

Zapien is represented by Public Defender, Brandon Williams. Flores is represented by Public Defender, Albert Smith.

Veronica Zapien’s case as an accused co-conspirator is being handled separately. She is represented by private attorney, Kelsi Wheeler, and is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 9 for setting of trial.

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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