|For Immediate Release
Case # 06NF0195 February 20, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRIVER CONVICTED OF MURDERING THREE PEOPLE IN HIGH SPEED CRASH WHILE FLEEING FROM POLICE
FULLERTON – A man who fled from police after running a red light was convicted today of killing three people in a high-speed crash. Angel Montero Avila, 44, Anaheim, was found guilty of three counts of murder and one count of theft with a 2001 prior conviction. Avila faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison at his sentencing on April 18, 2008 in Department N-13, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
On the night of January 13, 2006, Avila stole two bottles of liquor from the Diamante Bar in Fullerton and fled the bar in his mini-van while under the influence of alcohol. He ran a red light at the intersection of Euclid and Orangethorpe, where a police officer, unaware of the bar theft, witnessed him run the red light and attempted to pull him over. Avila refused to stop his car after seeing the police lights and entered onto the 91 Freeway. He led the police on a high-speed chase and cut across four lanes of traffic in an effort to flee.
Avila made a fast exit off the freeway in Anaheim, losing control of his car as he moved down the East Street exit ramp, and crashed into a Toyota Camry with five passengers that was stopped at a red light. The broadside impact from the crash killed three people in the Camry: Guadalupe Ramirez, 39, Francisco Brito, 39, and Francisco Martinez, 20. The two remaining passengers were seriously injured.
Avila fled the scene on foot and hid under a tarp in the backyard of a nearby home. Police officers located him a short time later with the help of an Anaheim Police canine.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.