Case # 20HF1348
Impaired Driver with Previous DUI Conviction Charged with Murder after Running Red Light, Killing 20-year-old Woman
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A previously convicted drunk driver has been charged with murder and driving under the influence after running a red light in Irvine and killing a woman riding in the backseat of another vehicle last week. The driver fled the scene but was followed by two Good Samaritans who called 911 and followed the vehicle until police arrived.
Antonio Calixto Navarrete, 40, of San Clemente, has been charged with one felony count of murder, one felony count of hit and run causing serious injury, and one felony count of driving under the influence.
Navarrete is scheduled to be arraigned on September 11, 2020 in CJ1. He is currently being held on $1 million bail.
He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life plus four years and eight months in state prison if convicted on all counts.
At about 8:46 p.m. on August 22, 2020, Navarrete is accused of running a very stale red light and crashing into another vehicle while making a left at the intersection. Twenty-year-old Isadora Stabel, who was riding in the back seat with her seatbelt on, was killed.
Navarrete and his passenger got out of their vehicle after the crash, then got back in their vehicle and drove off. Two witnesses called 911 and followed Navarrete’s vehicle until police arrived.
Drivers convicted of driving under the influence in California are required to be given what is known as a Watson advisement that informs them that if they kill someone while driving under the influence they can be charged with murder. Navarrete received the Watson advisement when he plead guilty in 2018 to driving under the influence and hit and run with property damage in connection with hitting a parked vehicle while under the influence. The Steve Ambriz Act, authored by then-Assembly member Todd Spitzer, requires people applying for a California driver’s license to sign a form acknowledging that they can be charged with murder if they kill someone while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“A young woman received a death sentence because a stranger decided to drink and get behind the wheel,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Orange County roads have become incredibly deadly over the last few weeks because drivers are ignoring multiple warnings not to drink or use drugs and drive. Enough is enough.
As a member of the State Assembly, I authored the Steve Ambriz Act to be able to charge impaired drivers with murder. The ultimate goal of that law is to prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired and causing these senseless deaths because they understand the consequences of being charged with murder and a life sentence. I don’t want my prosecutors to have to file one more murder charge because a drunk or high driver killed another person. If you drink or use drugs, don’t drive. The life you save maybe someone else’s, or it may be your own. If you decide to drive under the influence and you kill someone you may be charged with murder.”
Over the last month the Orange County District Attorney’s Office has filed numerous cases involving fatal DUI crashes. District Attorney Spitzer has declared Orange County is facing a serious crisis that has resulted in the senseless deaths of so many innocent people. In response, District Attorney Spitzer is convening a meeting next week with local law enforcement leaders, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the state Office of Traffic Safety, and statewide trainers to address what can be done to stop this disturbing trend and save additional lives.
Deputy District Attorney Janine Madera of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.