A Costa Mesa woman charged with murder in a traffic collision that killed a 23-year-old Vanguard University student pleaded not guilty to three felonies Friday in Orange County Superior Court.
Kimberly Renee Martin, 25, is accused of driving drunk through a red light near Mesa Drive and Santa Ana Avenue, where her Volkswagen SUV collided with a Honda driven by Enrique Orlando Marquez of Tustin. Marquez, who died at the scene of the May 1 accident, was a year from completing his bachelor’s degree and wanted to become a math teacher.
Martin is also charged with causing great bodily injury to a passenger in the SUV, as well as felony drunk driving for allegedly driving with a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit.
The Orange County district attorney’s office said it took nearly a year to file charges because of an ongoing police investigation. Police investigators submitted their recommendation for charges to prosecutors on Feb. 12 following a lengthy investigation, the Costa Mesa Police Department said.
Martin is in custody at Orange County Central Women’s Jail, according to jail records. Prosecutors recommended raising her bail to $2 million but a judge kept it at $1 million.
The defendant is due back in court on Aug. 8.