A man accused of driving while under the influence of nitrous oxide and causing a crash that killed an 11-year-old girl standing at a Boyle Heights taco stand last November was arraigned Thursday on manslaughter and DUI charges.
Joe Louis Perez, 22, of Boyle Heights, was charged last month with one felony count each of gross vehicle manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of a drug causing injury, along with allegations of causing great bodily injury.
He is accused of being under the influence of nitrous oxide, commonly known as "laughing gas," around 7 p.m. Nov. 10, 2017, while driving on Whittier Boulevard in Boyle Heights. According to prosecutors, he crashed his car into a parked vehicle in the 900 block of South Marietta Street, forcing the parked vehicle onto a curb, where it struck a group of people gathered at the taco stand.
The crash killed 11-year-old Elektra Yepez, and also injured her mother and two aunts.
Perez was arrested at the scene following the crash, but he was not immediately charged in the case and was released from custody.
He faces up to 13 years and eight months in prison if convicted, according to the District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors are recommending his bail be set at $230,000.