Five alleged gang members were charged Monday with attempting to murder and carjack a pregnant woman in Sunland last week.
Christian Reyes, 20, Andrew Bran, 19, Jesus Morales, 18, Christina Luna, 24, and Monica Gomez, 25, are facing one count each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder, carjacking, second-degree robbery and hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage, a misdemeanor. The criminal complaint includes a gang allegation.
Reyes also faces one count of aggravated mayhem and an allegation that he personally used a knife as a deadly weapon.
The 33-year-old victim was parking her vehicle outside her home in the 10800 block of Eldora Avenue about 6 p.m. March 20 when Reyes, Bran and Morales allegedly ambushed her, according to police and prosecutors. The assailants asked for her phone and decided to take the car when they didn’t get it, authorities said.
Reyes allegedly stabbed her multiple times before the men drove off in her car, crashing into parked vehicles as they fled the scene. Luna and Gomez were allegedly waiting nearby in a getaway vehicle.
The woman, who was 12 weeks pregnant, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, but reported to be in stable condition the next day. Authorities said she was stabbed in the chest and her husband told reporters that she also had defensive wounds.
“She’s got 10 punctures from stabbing, one of which went all the way through the nose,” her husband, Greg Maga, said shortly after the attack. “Because she’s pregnant, she tried to protect herself from the stabbing, she used her hand, so she has a lot of stabs on her hand. … We don’t know yet about the baby.”
The woman, identified by KTLA as 33-year-old Tanya Nguyen, a first-grade teacher, posted a video to YouTube Sunday thanking everyone who supported her during her surgery and recovery. She did not mention the baby and no update on the child’s condition was immediately available from authorities.
Maga told the station the attack was captured on the couple’s home surveillance system.
The defendants’ arraignment was postponed until April 17. Bail was set at $1.9 million for Reyes and about $1.4 million for the other four defendants. If convicted as charged, they each face a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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