DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO – A father accused of driving drunk and fleeing the freeway crash that killed his 9-year-old son pleaded not guilty yesterday to gross vehicular manslaughter and other charges.
Marcos Munoz Sanchez, 33, faces several felony and misdemeanor charges, including child endangerment, driving under the influence and hit-and-run. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for up to 15 years.
Deputy District Attorney Melissa Vasel said Munoz was driving on Interstate 8 near Texas Street on Saturday when he crashed into a car parked on the shoulder around 1:40 a.m. His son, Alex Munoz , was in the passenger seat and died as a result of the impact.
Vasel told the judge that a witness came out of a nearby restaurant shortly after the crash and saw a man running from the area. Later, police saw a white pickup circling the restaurant parking lot.
Vasel said police saw the same truck again later that day near the family's Linda Vista apartment and contacted the men inside.
Marcos Munoz , the passenger, had minor injuries and glass in his hair and clothes, authorities said. Another man, Raul Munoz Sanchez, was driving the pickup. The men are believed to be related, Vasel said.
Vasel told the judge that Raul Munoz 's blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.19 percent after his arrest. Marcos Munoz 's blood-alcohol content measured 0.11 percent a little more than three hours after the collision. The legal threshold for drunken driving is 0.08 percent.
Deputy Public Defender Paul Rodriguez said Marcos Munoz has no significant criminal record, except for a misdemeanor conviction from 2005.
Of course our
Police have said that both men were in the country illegally and were not licensed drivers.
If Marcos Munoz had been deported after his misdemeanor conviction, perhaps he could have killed his son on a Mexican freeway instead.