|For Immediate Release
Case # 06NF0195 February 5, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRIVER FACES TRIAL FOR MURDERING THREE PEOPLE IN HIGH SPEED CRASH WHILE FLEEING
FULLERTON – A man who fled from police after running a red light faces trial for killing three people in a high-speed crash. Angel Montero Avila, 44, Anaheim, is charged with three counts of murder and one count of theft with a 2001 prior conviction. If convicted, Avila faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison. Opening statements were presented this morning in Department N-31, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
On the night of January 13, 2006, Avila is accused of stealing two bottles of liquor from the Diamante Bar in Fullerton and fleeing the bar in his mini-van while under the influence of alcohol. He is accused of running a red light at the intersection of Euclid and Orangethorpe. A police officer, unaware of the bar theft, witnessed the defendant run the red light and attempted to pull him over, but Avila is accused of refusing to stop his car after seeing the police lights and entering onto the 91 Freeway. He is accused of leading the police on a high-speed chase and cutting across four lanes of traffic in an effort to flee.
Avila is accused of making a fast exit off the freeway in Anaheim, losing control of his car as he moved down the East Street exit ramp, and crashing 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 is accused of fleeing the scene on foot and hiding 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.