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The teen son of a Los Angeles multimillionaire admitted to vehicular manslaughter Friday after crashing his Lamborghini sports car in February, killing a 32-year-old woman.
The 17-year-old son of James Khuri was found amid the mangled remains of his Lamborghini and a silver Lexus in an upscale L.A. neighborhood on Feb. 17. The Lexus’s driver – later identified as Monique Muñoz, 32 – was pronounced dead at the scene, while the teen was taken to the hospital, according to a news release by the Los Angeles Police Department. He was booked on charges of vehicular manslaughter six days later.
Prosecutors alleged in court that the teen, who Oxygen.com is not identifying because of his age, was driving at 106 miles per hour and weaving in and out of traffic when he struck Muñoz, according to the Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors also alleged that the teen was racing against a female friend at the time, although his attorney denied this claim.
The teen's father expressed grief over Muñoz’s death in a March 10 interview with KTLA-5.
“I am sorry to the Muñoz family,” Khuri said. “It is heartbreaking. I don’t sleep anymore.”
He reiterated his apology in an Instagram post later that day, saying he was aware of the “further pain” he caused Muñoz’s family by failing to publicly speak about this incident for three weeks.
Muñoz’s family has been vocal about how they believe police and the courts have given the teen preferential treatment because of his father’s wealth and power, according to the Times. Chants of “Justice for Monique!” could be heard in the courtroom Friday as friends and family protested outside, many holding signs suggesting the teenager should be tried as an adult or that his father should face criminal action.
George Gascon, the Los Angeles County district attorney, has barred courts from prosecuting minors as adults, according to the paper.
Prior to this incident, the teenager had been cited twice for speeding in Los Angeles, according to the Times. The first violation took place in October 2020, when he was allegedly spotted driving at 72 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood. Just three weeks after that, he was pulled over again, and this time his car was impounded and his license was suspended.
The teen was using a provisional driver’s license at the time, which requires an adult with a license to always be present in the vehicle, according to the Times.
The teen submitted a petition admitting to vehicular manslaughter on Friday. He will wear an ankle monitor and remain under house arrest as he awaits his next hearing on June 30, ABC-7 reports.
In juvenile court, the sentence for vehicle manslaughter can range from probation to up to nine months in juvenile detention, according to the Times.
Many of Muñoz’s family members feel that this is not enough.
“We want [the teen] to go to prison and understand the consequences of his doing. I want his father to feel his son gone for years, because Monique is gone for life,” Muñoz’s uncle, Richard Cartier, said during the protest at Friday’s hearing, according to ABC-7.
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