Courts & Law

DUI suspect faces murder charge

THE WOMAN was arrested for vehicular manslaughter Tuesday after a fatal crash in Anaheim now faces a murder charge (Shutterstock).

The Garden Grove woman arrested Tuesday in connection with the death of a pregnant woman who was walking along a sidewalk in Anaheim now faces murder charges.

On Friday, the Orange County District Attorney’s office announced it was charging Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, 40, with one felony count of murder, one felony count of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury and one misdemeanor count of driving one suspended license. She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on all charges.

(OCDA photo).

Under California law, drivers convicted of driving under the influence receive the “Watson advisement,” telling them that they could be charged with murder if they killed someone while driving under the influence. She was arrested – and advised – three times after DUI arrests in 2008, 2015 and 2016.

“This was 100 percent preventable,” said Orange County Attorney General Todd Spitzer. “This woman knew of the consequences of driving under the influence and did it anyway.”

The incident took place around 7:30 p.m. on Katella Avenue near Bayless Street. That’s between Euclid Street and 9th Street.

The victim, identified as Yesenia Lisette Aguilar, 23, of Anaheim – a woman who was 35 weeks pregnant – was walking on the sidewalk with her husband when the Jeep left the roadway and hit her.

At UCI Medical Center in Orange, a baby girl was delivered via a Caesarean section, but the mother died. The newborn baby remains in critical condition at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Police say the Jeep driver, who suffered minor injuries, was identified as Pandolfi. She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and had been driving on a suspended license.




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