San Diego

DUI Suspect Accused of Running Over Friend Appears in Court

The suspect and victim had been visiting a bar and restaurant in the area before the fight, officers said.

A San Diego woman accused of driving drunk and running over and killing a friend who was trying to stop her from driving made her first court appearance Tuesday.

Latisha Cherme Ingram, 33, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and hit and run resulting in death or injury. 

A judge deemed her a danger to the community and set her bail at $2.5 million.

Prosecutors say Ingram went out for drinks with her co-worker Ha Minh Ta, 25, and other friends from work last Thursday in Kearny Mesa. She became drunk, and when she tried to drive away Ta attempted to stop her, prosecutors said.

"What I can share is Mr. Ta was in the process of keeping her from getting in her car. Trying to prevent her from putting her car into drive and was trying to prevent her from driving away that night when he was run over," the prosecutor said.

The altercation happened at around 11:30 p.m. in a parking lot off of Convoy Street near Dagget Street, according to San Diego police. 

A witness said Ta was holding onto the car as Ingram drove off. 

As Ingram drove out of the parking lot and turned south on Convoy Street, Ta was run over. He was pronounced dead soon after at a nearby hospital. 

Ingram returned to the scene a short time after the incident and was arrested, police said.

Members of Ha's family were in court Tuesday but did not speak with the media.

If convicted on all charges, Ingram could face 15 years to life in prison. Court documents show she was convicted of DUI in Orange County in 2010. Prosecutors do not yet know what her BAC was Thursday night when she was arrested.

NBC 7 spoke with Kiana Smith, an employee at the nearby Raki Raki restaurant. She said Ingram had been refused service because she was "clearly drunk."

“I think he was trying to be a good citizen, stop her from drinking and driving,” Smith said of the victim.

“It looked like she was trying to get in her car but she was obviously way too drunk to drive so the guy was trying to stop her from driving,” Smith added. “He was really just trying to be a good citizen and I completely applaud him for that.”

NBC 7 tried speaking with a woman who said she was Latisha Ingram’s roommate in North Park. The woman declined an interview but did say Ingram is a good person and this had to be an accident.

No other information was available.

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