Halloween hit and run: Suspect charged with manslaughter, faces 17 years in prison
The driver suspected of striking and killing three teenage girls in a deadly hit-and-run in Santa Ana on Halloween night has been charged with manslaughter and a number of related felonies and misdemeanors, which combined could earn him a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison, authorities said Tuesday.
Jaquinn Bell, 31, was charged with three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one felony count of hit and run with permanent injury or death, and a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, according to a joint statement from Santa Ana police and the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
In addition, Bell faces possible sentencing enhancements for personally inflicting great bodily injury and for fleeing the scene of a crime, authorities said.
The three 13-year-olds, twins Lexi and Lexandra Perez, and their friend Andrea Gonzalez, were out trick-or-treating on Halloween night when they were struck in a crosswalk and killed.
Investigators found a damaged Honda CRV about 800 yards from the scene of the accident and later tracked Bell down at a motel in Stanton. He was taken into custody along with two adults and two teenage children, but all but Bell were eventually released.
Prosecutors said they planned to request Bell be held on $1 million bail. His arraignment was set for 1:30 p.m.