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Teen could face manslaughter charge in controversial high-speed crash that left woman dead in West L.A.

Map showing intersection where a high-speed crash claimed the life of 32-year-old Monique Munoz.
The intersection where a high-speed crash claimed the life of 32-year-old Monique Munoz.
(Los Angeles Times Data Desk)

The teenage son of a wealthy Los Angeles entrepreneur could be charged with manslaughter in connection with a high-speed crash that claimed a woman’s life in West L.A. last month, police confirmed Wednesday.

Monique Munoz, 32, was killed almost instantly when a Lamborghini driving at a “high rate of speed” slammed into her vehicle in the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Overland Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. on Feb. 17, according to LAPD Capt. Brian Wendling.

The force of the crash was so strong that Munoz’s vehicle was nearly split in half, Wendling said. The 17-year-old driver of the Lamborghini, whose identity police withheld because of his age, was also hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter on Feb. 23, according to a statement issued by the LAPD. A case was presented to Los Angeles County prosecutors last week and remains under review, said Greg Risling, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.

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Munoz’s case has garnered outrage in recent days. Her family and friends claimed police and prosecutors were not aggressively pursuing the case due to the wealth and influence wielded by the teen driver’s father, James Khuri, a multimillionaire who owns several real estate firms, manufacturing companies and an e-commerce business, according to Forbes.

While The Times normally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes, Khuri publicly confirmed his family’s involvement in the case on his Instagram page Wednesday.

A protest calling for the district attorney’s office to charge the teen is still scheduled for Saturday afternoon in the intersection where the fatal wreck occurred.

The victim’s mother and local activists had been claiming the teen had not been arrested in social media posts as recently as Wednesday morning, and were critical of police for not providing more information. Wendling, however, said the teen’s arrest took place at least two weeks ago and was only delayed by the fact that he had to be hospitalized for injuries sustained in the crash.

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The teen had a valid driver’s license at the time of the wreck, and alcohol and drugs did not appear to be a factor, Wendling said. Although the Lamborghini was “flying” at the time of the crash, Wendling said, police do not believe the teen was street racing.


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