A woman accused of killing a pedestrian in a bloody hit-and-run and then driving for half a mile with his body lodged in the front seat will now be charged with murder, according to an amended complaint filed by the San Diego County District Attorney's office Thursday.
Esteysi Sanchez Izazaga, 29, who goes by Stacy Sanchez, will now face a murder charge, in addition to several felonies, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit and run, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, driving with a measurable blood alcohol causing injury and a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.
When asked why the office filed the amended complaint and what evidence they have to support it, Deputy District Attorney Bob Bruce said that information would come out at the preliminary hearing, set for Oct. 26.
"There will be a time and a place for the facts to come out on record," Bruce said.
At her arraignment, Sanchez pleaded not guilty to the charges. Her bail was previously set at $1.5 million. She is expected in court again on Sept. 27.
Outside the court hearing, protesters with The Remembrance Project rallied. When they learned officials had filed a new charge, protesters were happy.
"Very thankful," said Brenda Sparks, whose son died from injuries suffered in a crash. "I was very happy. At least she is getting charged with something that she did."
On Monday, June 27, Sanchez veered onto the sidewalk on the 4000 block of Mission Avenue in Oceanside and hit victim Jack Tenhulzen at random, police said.
Prosecutors say Sanchez was driving so fast, she hit Tenhulzen and stripped him of his clothing.
"He went head first through her windshield, landing in a crumpled heap on her passenger seat," Aimee McLeod, a San Diego County Deputy District Attorney, said.
Two hours after the crash, prosecutors said Sanchez had a blood alcohol level of 0.18-0.19, more than double the legal limit.
Tenhulzen's leg detached from his body and flew through the back window, landing on the trunk of the car, police said.
Sanchaz continued driving for approximately half a mile, police said. She parked the vehicle and walked away before officers arrived, police said.
"She claimed she fell asleep and only woke up when she felt glass covering her face and saw this dead person in the passenger seat," McLeod said.
Shortly after she abandoned the car, prosecutors say Sanchez called her boyfriend, walked home and changed her outfit.
"She wasn't contacted by law enforcement for an hour," McLeod said. "At that time, she had changed her clothing and she still had pieces of windshield in her hair."
Police say her live-in boyfriend at some point called the police and reported the incident, police said. Officers found her at her house, approximately two blocks from where she left the car.
Sanchez could face 15 years to life if convicted.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who witnessed the collision or has information is asked to call the Oceanside Police Department at (760) 435-4911.