Mynor Augusto Esquivelvalle, a man who killed his cousin, 23-year-old Sergio Marroquin, Jr., during a Oct. 22, 2020 rollover crash at a street takeover in Costa Mesa, walked out of court a free man after he was sentenced to one year in jail and then immediately freed after receiving credit for time served while awaiting trial.
The rollover accident also injured two bystanders.
Esquivelvalle was in jail for less than a year after the rollover accident. He was able to escape a worse penalty when he agreed to a judge’s offer requiring he plead guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and reckless driving causing injury charges, as well as admit to a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Andre Manssourian ended up sentencing Esquivelvalle to one year in jail and three years probation. After receiving more than a year’s worth of credit for time served behind bars while awaiting trial, Esquivelvalle was able to go home.
O.C. prosecutors did not like the sentence one bit. They wanted Esquivelvalle to serve time in state prison. If he had he been convicted at trial, the vehicular manslaughter charge alone would have carried a potential six-year sentence.
Unfortunately the family of Esquivelvalle’s dead cousin allegedly did not want the court to give him any sort of severe punishment. And reportedly the two bystanders that were injured did not want to be involved in the criminal case or the trial.
The prosecutors also felt that Esquivelvalle has “shown no remorse” for a death and injuries caused by his own “dangerous driving maneuvers” and alleged that during the investigation he repeatedly lied to police about the cause of the crash and his involvement in a large street takeover.
That street takeover happened just before 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 22 when a large group of between 60 and 70 cars and 100 to 150 pedestrians blocking off the intersection at Highland and Sunflower Avenues.
The responding Costa Mesa police officers found a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado on its side and a man was laying in the street. That man was later identified as Marroquin. He as pronounced dead at the scene. Two bystanders that were reportedly struck by the vehicle as well were later found at local hospitals by police investigators.
Esquivelvalle admitted to officers at the scene of the crash that he was the owner and driver of the pickup truck however he told police investigators that another car had struck his vehicle while he was driving through the intersection, which dragged his cousin from the vehicle.
Police detectives believe that Esquivelvalle was doing doughnuts in his pickup truck while Marroquin was hanging on the outside of the truck on the passenger side door, based on the evidence and interviews. The pickup struck the two bystanders before rolling over and crushing Marroquin, according to the prosecutors.
An online group that had set up other street takeovers had set up the Costa Mesa event. They first showed up at the Anaheim Plaza parking lot on Euclid Street at around 1:30 a.m.
Witnesses reported that both Esquivelvalle and Marroquin were at the Anaheim meetup and they were allegedly watching when another vehicle doing doughnuts in the lot hit an 18-year-old woman. They then drove to the Costa Mesa intersection, with the other drivers.
Street racers in Orange County have run amok during the pandemic as the State’s stay-at-home orders resulted in roadways with less traffic and the street racers were out of work and bored. And local car enthusiasts were unable to go to any legitimate venues, due to pandemic-related closures, which meant they had to find other means to show off their expensive and unsafe vehicles.
Unfortunately street takeovers are inherently unsafe for both the participants and bystanders. There are no barriers to protect the public.