A 17-year-old boy who was behind the wheel of a $200,000+ Lamborghini SUV that slammed into a woman in West Los Angeles at more than 100 mph admitted a Juvenile Court petition Friday charging him with vehicular manslaughter.
The teenager was placed on house arrest pending his next court appearance in Inglewood on June 30, when a disposition date is scheduled to be set, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Monique Muñoz, 32, died at the scene of the Feb. 17 crash at 10730 Olympic Blvd., near Overland Avenue. The teen was driving at 106 mph at the time of the impact, according to prosecutors.
“What we want as far as justice is concerned, we want him to go to prison and understand the consequences of his doing,” the victim’s uncle, Richard Cartier, told reporters outside the Inglewood Juvenile courthouse. “I want his father to feel his son gone, O.K.? For years. Because Monique is gone for life.”
In an interview with ABC7, District Attorney George Gascón maintained that the teen had been “appropriately charged for the crime that he committed … which caused the death of Monique Munoz.”
The county’s top prosecutor said the issue of what penalty the teen should face is “something that’s up to the court, and I’m sure the court is going to do the right things based on the law.”
Gascón issued a directive the day he was sworn into office last December, in which he pledged that the office “will immediately end the practice of sending youth to the adult court system.”
The directive notes that the District Attorney’s Office will be guided by principles including a prosecutorial approach that “should be biased towards keeping youth out of the juvenile justice system and when they must become involved, our system must employ the `lightest touch’ necessary in order to provide public safety.”
Gascón has cited research showing that the human brain is not fully developed until the mid-20s, leading young people to make more impulsive decisions.
Relatives of the victim and activists initially alleged that charges were not quickly filed against the teen — the case was filed earlier this month — because of the wealth and influence of his father, James Khuri, described by Forbes as a multimillionaire who owns several real estate firms, manufacturing companies and an e-commerce business.
Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Brian Wendling told the Los Angeles Times the Lamborghini driver’s arrest was only delayed by the fact that he had to be hospitalized for injuries sustained in the crash.
The elder Khuri apologized to Muñoz’s family via Instagram, offering “my support in any way you will allow me to” and that he and his family “pray for the Muñoz family.”