What to Know
- Barragan was driving northbound on the 605 Freeway about 1 a.m. when the sedan rear-ended a disabled car that burst into flames.
- Atef Mishreky, 52, and a 19-year-old woman, whose name was withheld, were killed.
- He was convicted in 2014 of driving under the influence in Orange County.
A convicted drunken driver accused in the deaths of two people in a fiery crash on the 605 Freeway in Norwalk pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and DUI charges.
Alex Barragan, 31, of Norwalk, could face up to 44 years to life in prison if convicted of two counts of murder, and one count each of driving under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of another DUI offense and driving with a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
The charges include allegations that Barragan caused great bodily injury and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.20 percent or more, which is nearly three times the legal limit. According to the criminal complaint, he was convicted in 2014 of driving under the influence in Orange County.
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Barragan was arrested about an hour after the July 16 crash that killed 52-year-old Atef Mishreky and a 19-year-old woman, whose name was being withheld pending notification of her next-of-kin.
Barragan was behind the wheel of a 2006 Infiniti M45 that was traveling northbound on the 605 Freeway about 1 a.m. when the sedan rear-ended a 1999 Ford Winstar van that had become disabled near Rosecrans Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Both the van and the sedan erupted in flames, the CHP reported.
Mishreky and the 19-year-old died at the scene and a 7-year-old girl and a 22-year-old woman in the van were injured, according to the CHP. Barragan and his 22-year-old female passenger suffered minor injuries, the CHP reported.
Barragan, who is being held on $2.19 million bail, was ordered to return to court on Sept. 14 to get a date for a preliminary hearing that will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.