SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man who was driving with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he hit and killed a 6-year-old girl who was playing on the sidewalk was convicted today of the girl’s murder. The driver had already been charged in a 2015 driving under the influence case in which he had been warned of the deadly dangers of driving under the influence.
Maximino Delgado Lagunas, 56, of Anaheim, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of second-degree murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life.
Lagunas is scheduled to be sentenced on September 9, 2022 at the North Justice Center in Fullerton in Department N11.
On February 17, 2018, Lagunas left a job site where he had been working as a painter. Lagunas lost control of his vehicle, drove onto the opposite sidewalk, hitting 6-year-old Grace Aguilar and eventually a parked car. Grace died as a result of her injuries.
Toxicology results revealed Lagunas was driving with a blood alcohol level of .22%, more than three times California’s legal limit of .08%
Drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California can be given what is known as a Watson advisement that informs them that if they kill someone while driving under the influence they can be charged with murder. Lagunas received the Watson advisement in connection with his 2015 conviction for driving under the influence.
“An innocent little girl who was just playing on the sidewalk is dead as a result of the selfish decision by a stranger to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “This is a tragedy that should never have happened and Grace should still be alive today. Every time someone drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they take the risk that they could kill someone. And this time he did – and it was a little six-year-old girl named Grace.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Moore of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.