A 28-year-old Kenyan man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following a DUI hit-and-run collision in California last week that caused the death of a 74-year-old man.
Stewart Leacky Waithanji, who has a long history of drunk driving, was driving with a female passenger when he collided with another vehicle and he is facing one count of felony murder, along with two felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and two misdemeanor charges related to property damage caused during the collision.
“A 74-year-old man was left for dead in the middle of the street, tossed aside as if he never mattered, because of the selfish decision of a stranger to get behind the wheel while intoxicated,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.
“His life may not have mattered to the driver who left him for dead, but it matters to me and it matters to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. And we will fight for justice for him and everyone who loved him.”
After this incident, officials say they arrested him in a bar drinking.
The passenger in Waithanji’s vehicle was arrested also on suspicion of being an accessory to a crime, but the D.A.’s office has not yet filed charges against her.
In a criminal complaint filed on Tuesday, prosecutors noted that in a period of 10 years, Waithanji had committed three separate violations of deliberate or malicious disregard for people’s safety.
Court records by the state of Iowa show three past convictions for first, second, and third-degree DUI offenses committed in January and May of 2016 and November 2017 respectively.
Waithanji is also facing misdemeanor charges from a second hit-and-run incident that occurred on October, 2019.
He is accused of driving under the influence, having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit and causing property damage.