Former public defender killed in crash in rural Santa Margarita

November 24, 2021

Jim Maguire


The 76-year-old man killed in a crash on Pozo Road in rural Santa Margarita on Tuesday evening has been identified as former San Luis Obispo County public defender Jim Maguire.

A partner in the law firm of Maguire & Ashbaugh, Maguire co-managed the public defenders office in SLO County until 2016, when he retired. Maguire and his wife Christine ran Riconada Dairy Farm, which sells milk from both goats and sheep, eggs and meats.

Shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Maguire was driving a pickup truck westbound on Pozo Road just east of Las Pilitas Road when he crashed into a semi truck making a U-turn. Maquire died at the scene.

CHP officers are investigating the deadly crash.


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He was a good man.


The Semi-truck owned by Swift Transportation was delivering a obstacle for a Spartan race at Santa Margarita Ranch. Ranches are for animal husbandry and agriculture not amusement parks and event centers. Mr Maguire ran a bona-fide ranch that has provided food for our county for nearly 30 years. His quiet contribution to our community is unmatched.

Jorge Estrada

Jim was a all around good man as I knew him. He and his lovely wife were a special contribution to the Santa Margarita area. Prayers for Jim and his extensive family..


RIP Jim. I had an opportunity to sell Jim a piece of equipment and deliver it to their farm about 10 years ago. Jim showed me around the dairy and told me a bit of the history.


Very sad news for our community. Jim Maguire was a true professional and committed to justice. He defended some high profile murder cases wherein I was the lead investigator in the late 1980’s and early 90’s when I worked as an SLO Detective. Jim was so very thorough and professional in his job and I rightfully respected him for his commitment to justice. He was salt of the earth. I would like to think he considered this old cop a friend. RIP Jim.


I’m sorry to hear about James passing . It was an everyday occurrence to see James at the SLO courthouse for many many decades, a busy man who handled some of the most difficult cases to pass thru the courthouse .


Jim Maguire was a wonderful man, an outstanding lawyer with integrity and compassion, well liked and respected by all who knew him. Until recently he was on the Board of Directors of the Grizzly Youth Academy Foundation. I am so sorry to read this. My prayers to his wife and family.