LAS VEGAS - Prosecutors have filed a second-degree murder charge against a 25-year-old woman accused of driving under the influence at more than twice the speed limit when her vehicle hit another car, killing an 8-year-old boy.
"It was 15 days ago that 8-year-old Levi Echenique was tragically murdered and I use that word murder because today we filed that additional charge of murder with the use of a deadly weapon against this defendant," said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
A judge also increased bail to $1 million and put Aylin Alderette, also known as Aylin Alvarez-Perez on house arrest Friday pending a Sept. 24 preliminary hearing of evidence in the Aug. 31 crash that killed Levi Echenique and injured his parents.
Two people in a third vehicle also were hurt.
Alderette-Perez told police she was late for work, and vehicle computer records showed she was driving 103 mph in a 45 mph area.
Police say prescription drugs were found in Alderette-Perez's car and marijuana was allegedly found in her system.
"Although our community accepts medicinal marijuana and recreational marijuana, that's what the voters have decided, there is a line that must not be crossed and that's driving if you're impaired so just because it's legal to drive after ingesting marijuana doesn't mean it's legal to drive if you're impaired," Wolfson said.
Witnesses say her Chevrolet Camaro sped through several stop lights before the crash.
Alderette was initially charged with DUI and causing death due to reckless driving, but this new second-degree murder charge carries a prion term of 10 years to life.
"Everyone who hears this has been on our roadways and I guarantee most of you have had one of these near death experiences with someone whose driving is completely out of control, who's showing complete depraved indifference for the lives of everyone around them," said Eric Bauman, chief deputy district attorney. "It has to come to a stop. We have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough and it starts now."
According to Wolfso, Alderette seems to regret her decision to get behind the wheel of a car that day. She's on suicide watch.
Little Levi's family was at the news conference, but they wre emotional and did not want to talk to the media.
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