A North Hills man with three prior DUI convictions has been charged with murder in connection with an alleged head-on DUI crash into a car containing a pregnant woman who gave birth to a baby girl who died soon afterward, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Thursday.
Julian Gutierrez, 25, is charged with one felony count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury within 10 years of two other DUI offenses and driving with a 0.08 blood-alcohol content causing injury within 10 years of two other DUI offenses.
The criminal complaint alleges that Gutierrez caused great bodily injury to the baby's mother and that he had been convicted of misdemeanor DUI in 2014, 2015 and 2016, according to the District Attorney's Office.
He was allegedly behind the wheel of a 2010 Nissan Altima that veered into incoming traffic on Fulton Avenue, south of Hatteras Street, and collided with a northbound 1997 Acura Integra around 11:05 p.m. last Friday, authorities said.
Simon Sarkissian, who lives in the area where the crash occurred, saw the aftermath. "I ran out, saw the lady yelling in hysterics," he said. "She said, 'My baby, my baby' and I noticed that she had a bruise on her stomach."
Guillermo Bert, who ran out of his home after he heard the sound of the collision, said the woman had to get out of her car through the passenger's side because the driver's side was "completely destroyed."
The driver of the Acura, Judith Mauricio, who was eight months pregnant, suffered serious injuries, police said.
Mauricio was taken to a hospital, where she gave birth to a baby girl who subsequently died, police said.
"The investigation revealed that Gutierrez was driving under the influence during the time of the collision," according to an LAPD statement.
"He sustained minor injuries ... and was treated by paramedics at (the) scene."
Gutierrez's license had been suspended seven times in the last six years and was revoked in 2016, after he had been sentenced to six months in jail for his most recent DUI offense, the NBC4 I-Team learned.
Gutierrez — who remains jailed on $2 million bail — pleaded not guilty to the accident and is due back in a Van Nuys courtroom June 13, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial.
If convicted as charged, Gutierrez could face up to 25 years to life in state prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.