Monique Munoz was killed in a car accident Feb.17 after a teen driving a Lamborghini at 120 mph crashed into her Lexus on Olympic/Overland in West Los Angeles. The 17-year-old was charged on Wednesday according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office after its investigation was completed, ABC News reported. The office says it cannot release what the charges are until the teen has been arraigned which is scheduled for April 23 in juvenile court. The teen is the son of Beverly Hills millionaire James Khuri and he was booked on vehicular manslaughter Feb. 23 according to the Los Angeles Police Department but he was not charged at the time.
“We believe it’s the first step to justice for Monique,” Muñoz’s cousin Stephanie Crespin told ABC News. “It’s a very definite step and we were happy to have those charges filed.”
— ambernicole✨ (@aamber_nicolee) March 11, 2021
Munoz’s sister, Amber Nicole, shared on Twitter that the minor is “hiding behind daddy’s money” and that he’s a “rich spoiled privileged individual.” The family continues to seek justice amid allegations that Khuri was allegedly attempting to use his money and privilege to keep the story from coming out. After supporters found Khuri’s Instagram and demanded justice he shut off commenting and eventually released a statement on March 10:
“I am aware that the time it has taken me to communicate this has caused further pain for everyone affected. Knowing that this will never do justice for the family of Monique Munoz, I want to apologize to the Munoz family for the tragic loss of their daughter. There are no words I can say to alleviate the pain that you are experiencing. And I realize none of my words or action will be able to bring back your daughter. Still, I want to offer my support in any way you will allow me to. My family and I pray for the Munoz family.”
Munoz’s mother, Carol Cardona, told L.A. Taco that she had dreams of becoming a wife and mom and one day buying her own home. The 32-year-old from Hawthorne had just started working at UCLA Health as an administrative assistant in the Beverly Hills Oncology Department and planned to go to law school.
“We don’t want this swept under the rug,” Crespin told ABC News. “We don’t want it ignored, and we have really felt that hinges on us making a stand, on us having a presence and demanding accountability.”
The family is planning a rally Saturday April 10 to demand the District Attorney charge the teen as an adult.
“We know this is just the beginning and really our goal is justice and that comes with a conviction and sentencing that reflects Monique was killed that day,” Crespin said.
UPDATE, April 26, 2021
The minor admitted to felony vehicular manslaughter and was remanded to house arrest and will wear an ankle monitor while he awaits sentencing. He is set to return to court on June 30 for a disposition setting hearing. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón told ABC that he won’t be trying him as an adult because the “human brain is not fully developed until we’re in our mid-20s.”
“What we want, as far as justice is concerned, we want him to go to prison and understand the consequences of his doing,” her uncle, Richard Cartier said, outside the courthouse on Friday. “I want his father to feel his son gone for years — because Monique is gone for life.”