California has three possible charges for a person who is involved in a DUI accident that kills another person. While all the charges are serious, only two are automatically charged as a felony. Those charges are gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and second-degree murder. Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is charged when a prosecutor can prove that a person was under the influence, breaking a California law, and acting in a negligent manner while doing so. The penalties for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated include time in state prison, fees, and felony offender status.
KTLA reports on an alleged DUI driver who crashed into a South Los Angeles apartment, killing a mother who was sleeping next to her child.
49-year-old Connie Jo Howard is facing charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury and driving with a .08% blood-alcohol level causing injury, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced.
The charges stem from a crash that occurred in the pre-dawn hours of July 3rd. Howard was behind the wheel of a vehicle that slammed into an apartment in a building at near Main Street and 87th Street Place.
The vehicle hit the outside wall of the bedroom where 44-year-old Nicole Marks and her 4-year-old daughter was sleeping. Marks was killed by debris thrown from the crash. Her daughter was not seriously injured.
Both Howard and a male passenger were critically injured in the accident. Rescue workers had to extricate them from the vehicle.
Howard is being held on $1.13 million bail and is due back in court on July 31st. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.