VISTA, Calif. - A trial date could be set Wednesday for a woman who allegedly kept driving after fatally striking a man whose body went through the windshield of her vehicle.
Esteysi "Stacy" Sanchez, 30, is charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run, DUI causing injury and driving without a license in the death of 69-year-old Jack Ray Tenhulzen more than six months ago. The defendant is expected to be asked how she pleads to the charges at her Superior Court arraignment on Wednesday morning.
Witnesses in a three-day preliminary hearing last month testified that Sanchez drank at a nightclub during the night of June 27 and at a hotel early the next morning before trying to drive home. Deputy District Attorney Robert Bruce said two of her companions encouraged her not to drive when she left the hotel.
Authorities said she slammed into the victim at around 6:15 a.m. in the 4000 block of Mission Avenue and traveled nearly one mile with the man's body partially inside her Pontiac sedan and his detached lower leg on the trunk of her car. She pulled over in a cul-de-sac on Magdalena Drive and ran into her home, where she was later arrested.
Sanchez still had shards of glass in her hair when she was taken into custody, and recorded a blood-alcohol content of between .18 and .19 percent -- well above the legal limit of .08 -- two hours after the collision, Bruce said.
The prosecutor said the murder charge stems from her intent to drink at the hotel even though she would have to drive home, and her post-collision disregard for the victim in continuing to operate the vehicle.
If convicted, Sanchez faces up to 15 years to life in prison.