The Santa Clarita Signal reports that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed murder charges against a 20-year-old driver who is responsible for a crash that killed his passenger. The suspect driver was already on probation related to a previous DUI charge.
The fatal crash happened at approximately 3:40 a.m. on November 1 on Bouquet Canyon Road near Sutter’s Pointe Plaza when 20-year-old Raul Ramirez lost control of his vehicle. A 39-year-old male passenger was also in the vehicle.
Deputies with the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station and firefighters responded to the crash. Ramirez and his passenger had to be extricated from the wreckage of his vehicle and were rushed to an area hospital for treatment. Ramirez’s passenger ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.
Ramirez was later released from the hospital and was arrested on suspicion of DUI causing injuries and DUI of a minor with a blood alcohol level above .01 percent.
Later that week, officials sought to charge Ramirez with murder due to a previous DUI conviction that he was on probation for at the time of the fatal crash.
In a statement the District Attorney’s Office issued a statement that since Ramirez had a previous DUI conviction and received a Watson Admonishment. The admonishment is read in court, and the defendant acknowledges that they understand the dangers and seriousness of driving under the influence of alcohol. Further, if they are in another alcohol-related incident where someone is killed, they would be eligible for a murder charge.
Ramirez was transferred to the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles over the weekend, where he will remain in custody until he appears in Los Angeles County Superior Court.