ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
Case # 14CF3723
Date: March 20, 2015
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of hit and run and manslaughter for killing three teens on Halloween night. Jaquinn Ramone Bell, 32, Orange, pleaded guilty today to three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one felony count of hit and run with permanent injury or death, one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, and sentencing enhancement allegations for fleeing the scene of a crime after committing vehicular manslaughter. He faces a maximum sentence of 13 years and eight months in state prison at his sentencing May 21, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
When Bell was first charged on Nov. 4, 2014, he was also facing sentencing enhancement allegations for personally inflicting great bodily injury and a maximum sentence of 17 years in state prison. In February 2015, the California Supreme Court ruled that a great bodily injury enhancement could not attach to any manslaughter charge under any circumstance. As a result, an amended complaint was filed today, March 20, 2015, excluding the sentencing enhancement allegation for personally inflicting great bodily injury.
On Halloween night, Oct. 31, 2014, Bell was driving on Fairhaven Avenue in the City of Santa Ana in excess of 60 mph where the posted speed limit is 45 mph. At approximately 6:45 p.m., Bell drove through a crosswalk as 13-year-old twins Lexandra H. Perez and Lexie H. Perez and their friend, 13-year-old Andrea Gonzalez, were in the crosswalk. Bell struck the three teens with his vehicle, failed to stop to render aid, and fled the scene. The three victims were later pronounced dead at the scene.
Several witnesses who observed the hit and run called the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD). A short time later, Bell was seen driving into the Big Lots parking lot on North Grand Avenue and fleeing on foot. Subsequently, the vehicle that he abandoned was traced back to Bell, and he was arrested by SAPD at a motel in Orange on Nov. 2, 2014.
SAPD investigated this case.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff