Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Will CA charge Manslaughter for death to a fetus in future

California DUI charge for death of unborn child considered
A New Year's Day accident around 3AM in the San Diego area took the life of a 6-month's pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Authorities have charged the suspect, 40-year-old Joseph Antony Venegas, with gross vehicular manslaughter and two counts of DUI causing injury. Arraignment for Venegas has been postponed because the driver was in medical isolation; he was only arraigned last Friday on the charges.

21-year-old Elaina Luquis-Ortiz and her unborn child, Romeo Fransisco, were both killed and two others were injured. Venegas was not charged in the death of the fetus, which is possible though not uniformly enforced in the state of California. The decision on this matter is pending.

Luquis-Ortiz was traveling home with her husband from a New Year's Eve party when they were called to assist another driver with a flat tire. She pulled her own car behind the disabled vehicle to await further assistance. At that point, a much larger Chevrolet Tahoe struck the parked car.

Luquis-Ortis died at the scene nearly immediately upon impact. The other passengers, who she was assisting, suffered serious injuries.

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