Woman accused of murdering three teens while driving drunk pleads not guilty
By Eric Heinz
Bani Duarte, 27, of San Clemente pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder on Monday, April 29 for driving under the influence and striking a vehicle in Huntington Beach on March 29, killing three teenagers from Las Vegas.
Duarte posted bail for the $100,000 on which she was initially held, but on Sunday she was taken into custody once again and held on a $5 million bond after authorities said she may have planned to flee the country, a press release from Huntington Beach Police Department stated.
According to the release, police stated new evidence had come to light and they saw Duarte as a flight risk.
Duarte was taken into custody at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 in Downey after investigators said she may have intended to flee the country to avoid prosecution, authorities said.
If convicted, Duarte could face up to 51 years to life in prison, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.