VISTA, Calif. - A murder charge was added Thursday against a female motorist who allegedly kept driving after striking a man on an Oceanside sidewalk, severing one of his legs and propelling his body through the windshield and into her passenger seat.
Esteysi "Stacy" Sanchez, 29, pleaded not guilty to the charge at a hearing at the Vista Courthouse.
Sanchez told police she drank twice the night of June 27 before slamming into 69-year-old Jack Ray Tenhulzen in the 4000 block of Mission Avenue about 6:30 a.m.
Deputy District Attorney Aimee McLeod said Sanchez hit Tenhulzen so hard that he was stripped of some of his clothing.
Sanchez drove for at least a half-mile with the victim's body partially inside her Pontiac sedan and his detached leg on the trunk of her car before pulling into a cul-de-sac on Magdalena Drive, authorities said.
The defendant ran to her home -- located about a block away -- and was arrested by police an hour later, the prosecutor said. Sanchez still had shards of glass in her hair when she was taken into custody, McLeod said.
Sanchez had a blood-alcohol content of between .18 and .19 percent -- well above the legal limit of .08 -- two hours after the accident, McLeod said.
Besides murder, Sanchez is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run, two DUI counts and driving without a license.
Outside of court, several people held signs and wore T-shirts with pictures of family members killed by undocumented immigrants.
Protester Brenda Sparks took interest in Sanchez's case because of the similarities to an incident involving her son. Sparks said her son Eric was struck and killed by a drunken driver who was in the country illegally.
"I'm very thankful, I'm very happy, because as least she's getting charged with something that she did. She outright murdered that man," Sparks said.
Sanchez will be back in court Sept. 27 for a readiness conference.