SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Nipomo resident Patrick Wayne McDuffee Jr., 34, has been sentenced to nine years plus 15 years to life in state prison for his guilty plea to the second-degree murder of 72-year-old Glenn Howard Owens and to driving under the influence of drugs causing injury. 

The defendant also admitted that he personally inflicted great bodily injury on Susan Margaret Owens in the collision and that he had suffered a prior conviction for driving under the influence of drugs causing great bodily injury in 2010, a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.

The crimes occurred in the Avila Beach area the afternoon of Aug. 6, 2021, when McDuffee failed to make a turn on San Luis Bay Drive.  McDuffee crashed his Ford F-250 pickup head-on with a Mercedes Sprinter van driven by Glenn Owens. Susan Owens, Glenn’s wife, was seated in the front passenger seat of the van. Glenn was killed in the collision, and Susan was seriously injured. 


McDuffee was determined to have been under the influence of multiple prescription drugs at the time of the collision.

The killing of Glenn Owens was prosecuted as second-degree murder based on McDuffee’s four prior DUI convictions, two of which were felonies, including an incident in 2010 where he nearly killed another motorist in a rear-end crash. 

Under California law, a fatal collision may be prosecuted as second-degree murder where the evidence establishes the offender was aware that their manner of driving was likely to result in serious injury or death and, with that knowledge, drove with conscious disregard for the safety of others. 

The evidence in this case established that McDuffee had completed an intensive 18-month DUI program where he received education on the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.  

Additionally, in each of his four prior DUI convictions, he was provided the following warning by the court:

“You are hereby advised that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous to human life to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both. If you continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and, as a result of that driving, someone is killed, you can be charged with murder.”

At the sentencing hearing, nine family members and a friend of 40 years provided statements to the court describing Glenn Owens as a loving father, husband, and friend who was a Naval Vietnam veteran, outdoorsman, Master Gardener, Big Brother of America, mentor to many, and a remarkably disciplined man with a bright smile.

Susan Owens described to the court her first “blind date” with Glenn 47 years prior and how she and Glenn had celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary just two days before the collision.   

Kelly Davalos, Glenn and Susan’s daughter, described specific cherished memories with her father and went on to describe in stark concrete terms the anguish of losing him and the life-changing injuries suffered by her mother, Susan.  

She described poignantly, “I remember lowering the American flag that evening — the way you had raised it Every. Single. Day. — because you weren’t there to do it.”

Alejandro Davalos, Glenn and Susan’s son-in-law, provided insight on Glenn: “Mr. Owens, as I called him, was not just a figure in my life; he was a guiding light, a pillar of strength, and a source of inspiration … He was more than a father-in law to me; he was a mentor, a role model, and a friend … His legacy will continue to live in our hearts, and his influence will continue to guide me as I strive to live a life that honors his memory.” 

The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo Area California Highway Patrol with the assistance of Sr. Investigators Matt Aanerud and Herminio Rodriguez of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth and Deputy District Attorney Kristin Barnard.