A California district attorney fought in court this week, alleging that an alleged disabled driver accused of killing a pregnant Disneyland worker is charged with murder and other charges following previous DUI convictions in 2008, 2015 and 2016 accused.
Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, 40, of Garden Grove, was charged Thursday with murder, driving under the influence of drugs that cause injuries and driving with a driver’s license, the Orange County Register reported. The first two counts are crimes while the third is an offense.
“This is more than shocking and utterly reprehensible,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement on Pandolfi̵
“That is more than shocking and absolutely reprehensible. … That was 100 percent avoidable. “
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Aguilar’s husband, who was with her, was not injured, the report said. After beating the victim, Pandolfi’s jeep drove down a sidewalk until the vehicle was “obstructed,” authorities said.
Aguilar was eight months pregnant, according to the registry. Medical staff managed to rescue their unborn daughter via a c-section, and prosecutors’ office said the child was in critical condition as of Thursday night, the newspaper reported.
Medical staff were hoping for the baby’s survival after a breathing tube was removed Thursday and the child, named Adalyn Rose, was breathing on its own, KABC-TV from Los Angeles reported.
The victim, an Anaheim resident, was a Disneyland employee, KTLA-TV reported from Los Angeles.
“The tragic loss of our actress Yesenia Aguilar breaks our hearts and we express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and loved ones,” a spokeswoman for Disneyland told the broadcaster.
“There’s no reason a 23-year-old mother can die and her daughter grow up without ever seeing her mother’s smile or hearing her voice,” Spitzer continued. “That was 100 percent avoidable. This woman [Pandolfi] knew the consequences of driving under the influence and she did it anyway. “
According to Spitzer, Tuesday’s crash was “not an accident” but “a choice – and it was a fatal one”.
Following all three previous DUI convictions, Pandolfi received a warning known as a “Watson Recommendation,” the register reported. It informs suspects convicted of DUI that if someone dies as a result of a subsequent DUI incident, they could be charged with murder.
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Evidence that a convicted DUI driver has received a Watson referral in the past allows prosecutors to prosecute a second degree murder charge instead of vehicle manslaughter if a DUI-related death occurs, the register said.
Pandolfi appeared in court on Thursday but did not make a plea, the newspaper reported. She is expected to return to court on September 4th.
If convicted, Pandolfi could experience life in prison. She was held in the county jail on $ 3 million bail.