3-Time DUI Convict Admits to Killing Pregnant Woman in Car Strike

A woman from Orange County, Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, with a history of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses, has admitted to causing a fatal accident that led to the death of a pregnant woman, Yesenia Aguilar; an incident that happened in 2020. Pandolfi, 44, was high on multiple narcotics and driving her SUV in Anaheim at the time of the incident.

Witnesses reported that she swerved onto the sidewalk, striking Aguilar who was on a stroll with her husband, James Alvarez. Despite the incident, Pandolfi kept driving until her car eventually broke down.

Following the incident, Aguilar was rushed to the UC Irvine Medical Center but did not survive. However, doctors were able to save her baby, Adalyn Rose, through an emergency cesarean section.

Pandolfi was slated to stand trial for Aguilar’s death but entered a guilty plea, thereby circumventing a trial. She pleaded guilty to a murder charge, a felony count of DUI causing bodily injury with two or more priors, two misdemeanor counts of driving on a suspended license, one misdemeanor count of DUI of drugs, and one misdemeanor count of possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. In addition, she admitted guilt to two drug charges filed against her while she was in custody, awaiting trial.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office stated that drivers with DUI convictions in California can be charged with murder if their actions result in someone’s death. In Pandolfi’s case, she had previous DUI convictions in 2008, 2015, and 2016 and was informed about the possibility of a murder charge each time.

According to District Attorney Todd Spitzer, Pandolfi’s actions were far from accidental given her history. He voiced his disappointment, stating her choice to get high was more important to her than Aguilar’s life.

Now, Pandolfi could face a maximum punishment of 15 years to life in prison, but a sentencing date is yet to be issued.

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