Men charged with murder in death of 6-year-old Monte Vista student

Two men today were charged with murder in connection with a police chase last week that ended with the death of a 6-year-old Monte Vista Elementary School student who was playing in her front yard.

The alleged driver of the fleeing car, Aaron Esqueda Rojas, 32, and Juaquin Hiriarte, 24, were charged with one count each of murder and evading an officer causing death, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

They were also charged with two felony counts related to illegally possessing firearms. Both men were being held in lieu of $1.05 million bail.

Kayla Woods was killed Thursday evening when the car Rojas was allegedly driving struck and pinned her against a wall outside her Lake View Terrace home, ending a Los Angeles police chase.

During the chase, the men allegedly tossed two handguns out the window.

Another passenger in the car, Manual Ydiarte, 49, was also charged with possession of a heroin for sale. He was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Kayla’s parents have said they do not blame Los Angeles police for her death. Grief counselors have been at Monte Vista Elementary helping students there cope with the sudden loss. The school’s principal, Susan Hodge, described the kindergartner as “just a joy to be around.”

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