MSN reports that a 24-year-old woman accused of gross vehicular manslaughter and two counts of DUI for her role in a crash that killed a passenger in her vehicle has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
Court documents indicate that Alexis Quintero of Los Angeles faces up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted of the charges.
The fatal crash happened at approximately 3:00 a.m. on Monday, February 6, after Quintero and her best friend spent the night before bar hopping in San Diego. Investigators say that Quintero was driving her 2003 Toyota sedan northbound on First Avenue when she struck an abutment near West B Street at an onramp for a civic parking structure.
The force of the impact threw Quintero’s friend, a 26-year-old woman, from the vehicle and died. Several of the victim’s family members were in court when the defendant was arraigned.
Police officers responding to the crash noted that Quintero displayed several “objective symptoms” of alcohol intoxication. A blood test immediately following the crash indicated that Quintero had a blood-alcohol level of .2 percent. A second BAC test two hours later showed that Quintero’s level of intoxication was still at .185 percent – more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.
Judge Daniel Danielson set Quintero’s bond at $100,000, which she posted shortly after her arrest. Prosecutors attempted to raise the bond to $250,000, but the request was denied. Judge Danielson also ordered Quintero not to drink alcohol and to wear an alcohol monitor.
Deputy District Attorney Deven Klee described the case as “very serious with tragic consequences.”
Quintero’s defense attorney, Edward Esqueda, said that because the victim was his client’s best friend. she was “…emotionally distraught and suffering.” Esqueda also told the judge that the defendant had been attending AA classes since the fatal crash.