Man with 3 DUIs accused of killing pregnant woman’s baby in alcohol-fueled crash
A North Hills man who already has three DUI convictions was drunk and behind the wheel again when he crashed head-on into a pregnant woman, killing her baby, authorities said Thursday.
Julian Gutierrez, 25, was charged Thursday with one felony count each of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. He also is charged with two counts of driving drunk and causing injuries while having two previous DUI convictions.
The crash occurred about 11 p.m. May 26 when Gutierrez, who was driving a Nissan Altima, was headed south on Fulton Avenue near Hatteras Street in Van Nuys and crossed a set of yellow lines, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
After veering over the lines, he steered into oncoming traffic and collided with an Acura Integra driven by Judith Mauricio, police said.
Mauricio, who was eight months pregnant, suffered major injuries. She was taken to a hospital and gave birth, but the baby girl died soon after, authorities said.
Gutierrez suffered minor injuries in the crash and was treated by paramedics at the scene.
He later was arrested in connection with the baby’s death.
Gutierrez was convicted in 2014, 2015 and 2016 for driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, all misdemeanor offenses, according to the district attorney’s office.
In July 2014, he was sentenced to three years’ probation, ordered to perform 12 days of community labor and enroll in a three-month first-offender alcohol-counseling program, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
Nearly a year later, Gutierrez was arrested again on suspicion of drunken driving. He pleaded no contest to DUI and driving with a suspended license.
In December 2015, he was sentenced to 45 days in jail and five years’ probation. He was ordered to complete 15 days of community labor and an 18-month second-offender alcohol program.
On April 8, 2016, police arrested Gutierrez on suspicion of another DUI offense. He again pleaded no contest to DUI and was sentenced in June to 180 days in county jail. A punishment of five years’ probation also was imposed.
In May, days after a hearing on his progress, a bench warrant for his arrest in connection with the baby’s death was issued.
Gutierrez is being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in state prison.
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