ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
Case # 14WF3770
Date: November 7, 2014
SANTA ANA – A drunken driver is scheduled to be arraigned today for murder for crashing into a brick wall and removing the passenger from the vehicle and leaving the victim in the gutter. Jonathan Samoff, 25, Westminster, is charged with one felony count of murder. If convicted, Samoff faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. Samoff is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment today, Nov. 7, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department W-2, West Justice Center, Westminster.
At approximately 3:15 a.m. on March 8, 2014, Samoff is accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol and speeding in the City of Westminster. Samoff is accused of crashing the vehicle into a brick wall and landing on the sidewalk in front of a light-pole. The defendant is accused of causing the crash that killed 26-year-old passenger Isaias Tang. Samoff is accused of removing Tang from the vehicle and leaving him in the gutter.
Prior to the murder, Samoff had signed an advisement, after being convicted of one felony count of driving under the influence in Los Angeles County in 2009, that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Samoff is accused of fleeing to Omaha, Nebraska after committing the crime. The Westminster Police Department (WPD) became aware of his whereabouts through a tip and notified the Omaha Police Department who arrested Samoff on a warrant and turned him over to WPD.
The WPD investigated this case.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff