An alleged drunken driver accused of driving an SUV onto a South Los Angeles sidewalk, fatally injuring a toddler who was walking with his mother, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to vehicular manslaughter and DUI charges.
George Edward Milton Jr., 32, of Gardena is charged with one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The criminal complaint includes allegations that Milton caused great bodily injury and was previously convicted of arson of property in 2006.
Milton was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Tahoe that veered off the road on 92nd Street near Figueroa Street, struck the boy on the sidewalk and then collided with a house about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Los Angeles police and prosecutors, who alleged that he then put the SUV in reverse and ran over the toddler a second time.
The 2-year-old boy, Eidan Cortez, died at a hospital.
Milton reportedly tried to leave the area, but was stopped by bystanders and subsequently arrested by officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s South Traffic Division, authorities said. He has remained behind bars since then.
Milton is due back in a Compton courtroom June 7, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.
If convicted as charged, he could face up to 25 years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.