UPDATE, NOV. 7, 3:01 P.M.: A rosary for Andrea Gonzalez and a wake for Lexi and Lexandra Perez will be held this evening in Orange and Santa Ana respectively, while services for each begin Saturday morning.
The rosary for Andrea will be recited from 5-9 p.m. today at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange, where services are also scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, according to family spokesman John Dunton.
The wake for twin Perez sisters runs from 6-9 this evening at Funeraria del Angel, also known as MacDougal Mortuary. Their services begin at 8:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Ana.
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 5, 7:07 A.M.: The family of the late Andrea Gonzalez “blames the judges” for her death, their spokesman John Dunton said Tuesday outside Orange County Superior Court, where 31-year-old Jaquinn Ramone Bell was being arraigned for the three girls' slayings.
“The judges need to be a little harder on crime,” Dunton told City News Service. “If he would have been in jail, these victims would be alive today.”
The Weekly previously reported on Bell's lengthy criminal history:
Court records indicate Bell was found to have violated probation several times over the years for failing to pay fines or fees associated with drug, alcohol and domestic violence cases, completing Caltrans service in lieu of jail time or participating in the court-ordered program. He'd had his license suspended Oct. 4, and he was due in court this Friday for a hearing related to his pending divorce.
Now comes this disclosure: Bell was involved in a vehicle crash in Anaheim three days before the girls were killed, when his ride wound up on a median.
Because Bell had been previously warned that a bust for driving while impaired causing death might result in his being charged with murder, he could face second-degree murder counts if drugs or booze are found to have played a role in Saturday night's triple slaying, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke, the Homicide Unit prosecutor who drew this case.
Bell made his initial court appearance on: three counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence; one count of hit-and-run causing a death or permanent injury, a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license; and sentence-enhancing allegations of personally inflicting great bodily injury and fleeing the scene of a crime. Conviction could bring 17 years in prison, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Meanwhile, Bell also faces probation violation allegations, including a case dating back to August 2008 when he pleaded guilty to punching his wife and giving her a black eye and a hit-and-run/drunken driving conviction in August of this year.
At the hearing, his bail was increased from $530,000 to $1 million. He did not enter a plea as arraignment was rescheduled to Dec. 16.
Gonzalez and twin sisters Lexi and Lexandra Perez Huerta, all from Santa Ana, died at the scene after being strucky by a black Honda CRV in a crosswalk in the 1400 block of East Fairhaven Avenue near Jacaranda Street about 6:45 p.m. Friday. Dunton, the Gonzalez family representative, pleaded with city officials to install a traffic light at that intersection.
As the drama was playing inside and outside court, the city announced ways the public and its own workers can donated to the Perez and Gonzalez families.
PAYROLL DEDUCTION: Employees have the option to donate directly from their paycheck with either a lump sum or extended donations for one month, two months or longer. To donate directly from your paycheck, please contact Payroll.
SANTA ANA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION: Donations made through the Santa Ana Federal Credit Union should be made out to “City of Santa Ana – Perez and Gonzalez Memorial Fund.”
Funds can also be deposited directly at the Santa Ana Credit Union (800 W. Santa Ana Blvd.) and reference the memorial fund above.
SANTA ANA POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: To donate through the Santa Ana Police Officer's Association or the Santa Ana Federal Credit Union, employees or members of the community can stop by or make checks payable to:
SAPOA Widows & Orphans Fund (On memo please note: Perez & Gonzalez Memorial Fund)
Mail to: Santa Ana Police Officers Association 1607 N. Sycamore Santa Ana, CA 92701