A Los Angeles man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a 60-year-old Long Beach woman killed when he allegedly drove into a group of pedestrians.
Khalid Yagobbi—who initially faced only a felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence involving the death of Romelia Cuarenta-Aguilar—is set to be arraigned Monday on the more serious count of murder, along with other charges stemming from the Oct. 14 crash on Shoreline Drive.
The murder charge includes an allegation that Yagobbi personally used a motor vehicle as a deadly weapon.
The amended complaint, filed Tuesday, also charges Yagobbi with four felony counts each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon involving four other people.
Yagobbi, 46, was released on bond Oct. 19 after his bail was set at $50,000, but he was taken into custody again Tuesday in lieu of $6 million bail as a result of the new charges. He has remained behind bars since then, jail records show.
Police said Yagobbi was speeding eastbound in a white Chevrolet Bolt on Shoreline Drive when he drove through a red light and struck the pedestrians and multiple, occupied vehicles without slowing down just after 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Shoreline Drive and Aquarium Way.
Yaggobi remained at the scene and was taken to a hospital for treatment before being booked on suspicion of murder, authorities said. Cuarenta-Aguilar was pronounced dead at the scene.
During a court hearing last week, a prosecutor said Yagobbi was an Uber driver and had a passenger in his car when the crash occurred.
They declined to explain exactly why they forwent a murder charge at that initial hearing, saying that vehicular manslaughter was the “charge that is supported by the evidence that was presented at the time of filing.”
Witnesses said the car struck Cuarenta-Aguilar as she pushed a child in a stroller in the crosswalk, and then slammed into multiple vehicles in the opposite lane.
Several other pedestrians were injured and hospitalized, although they were said to be in stable condition.
Police and prosecutors have not publicly revealed a potential motive, but police have said there’s no indication it was “an act of terror nor associated with the current violence in Israel.”