FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Case # 16NF2320
Date: October 5, 2018
DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS IN PRISON FOR VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER OF TWO CHILDREN AND THEIR MOTHER BY CRASHING INTO THEM AS THEY CROSSED THE STREET
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A drunken driver was sentenced today to nine years and eight months in state prison for the vehicular manslaughter of two children and their mother by crashing into them as they crossed the street.
Nicholas Stephen Munoz, 28, Placentia
Pleaded guilty on June 22, 2018, to the following felony counts:
- (2) Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated
- Driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury
- Causing great bodily injury
Nine years and eight months in state prison
Circumstances of the Case
- At approximately 10:20 p.m. on Aug. 20, 2016, Munoz drove down West La Jolla Street in his Placentia neighborhood under the influence of alcohol, at an unsafe speed while not paying attention.
- The defendant crashed into a family as they were walking across the street.
- The victims, 7-year-old Stephanie L., her sister, 3-year-old Diana L., and their mother, 35-year-old Patricia S., were crossing the residential street walking toward their apartment after attending a friend’s party.
- Two nearby Placentia Police Department (PPD) officers heard the impact and arrived at the scene.
- Paramedics were unable to revive the three victims, and they died at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the collision.
- Munoz was arrested by PPD, who investigated this case.
The 11-year-old daughter and sister of the victims gave an extremely moving victim impact statement pursuant to Marsy’s Law at the last hearing. She spoke about witnessing her mother and two sisters being hit as they crossed the street. She also stated the hardest part is never being able to tuck her little sisters into bed or hug her mother again.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Daniel Feldman, Homicide Unit