LOS ANGELES - A repeat drunk driver who was driving with a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he hit and killed a 6-year-old girl playing on the sidewalk was sentenced to 15 years to life for her murder, the Orange County District Attorney's Office announced Friday.
Maximino Delgado Lagunas, 56, of Anaheim, was found guilty by a jury on June 22, 2022 of one felony count of second-degree murder.
The incident happened in Feb. 2018. According to authorities, Lagunas had left work when he lost control of his vehicle, drove onto the opposite sidewalk, hitting 6-year-old Grace Aguilar and eventually a parked car. Aguilar died as a result of her injuries.
Toxicology results revealed Lagunas was driving with a blood alcohol level of .22%, nearly three times California’s legal limit of .08%
Lagunas had already been charged in a 2015 driving under the influence case in which he had been warned of the dangers of DUI.
Drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California can be given what is known as a Watson advisement that informs them that if they kill someone while driving under the influence they can be charged with murder. Lagunas received the Watson advisement in connection with his 2015 conviction for driving under the influence.
"Little kids playing on a sidewalk shouldn’t have to worry about being hit and killed by drunk drivers," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. "A six-year-old girl is dead because someone who had already been warned about the dangers of drinking and driving ignored those warnings and got behind the wheel drunk. Every time someone drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they take the risk that they could kill someone. This time it was a six-year-old girl named Grace who was just playing on the sidewalk."