Courts & Law

Sentencing Oct. 30 for double DUI deaths

A SAN CLEMENTE woman convicted of murder in the death of two people in connection with a drunk driving crash in Huntington Beach faces sentencing on on Oct. 30 (Shutterstock).

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30 in the case of a woman convicted of killing two motorists in Huntington Beach will driving drunk in 2018.

Bani Marcela Duarte will appear in Central Justice Center in Santa Ana at 9 a.m. for sentencing for homicide. The San Clemente woman was convicted earlier this month of murder.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Duarte, 27, was convicted of three felony counts of murder, one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury and a sentencing enhancement of great bodily injury.

She faces a sentence of 51 years to life in state prison.

The incident took place around 1 a.m. on March 29 along Pacific Coast Highway. Four high school students from Las Vegas were celebrating spring break when their car was stopped at a red light at PCH and Magnolia Avenue.

Duarte’s vehicle – traveling at a high rate of speed – crashed into the teen’s car, driving it through the intersection and into a pole, where it stopped and burst into flames.

Pronounced dead at the scene were Brooke Hawley, 17, Dylan Mack 18, and Albert Rossi, 17. Another passenger suffered injuries, including burns and a concussion, but he survived.

Duarte was arrested at the scene by Huntington Beach police. She had been previously arrested for DUI in 2016 and had lost her license for a year.

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