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Husband and wife ordered to stand trial in fatal hit-and-run at USC

September 15, 2009 |  5:21 pm
A husband and wife were ordered to stand trial Tuesday in the hit-and-run accident that left one USC student dead and another severely injured.

Claudia Cabrera, 30, and Josue Luna, 33, were ordered to face charges including hit-and-run causing great bodily harm and vehicular manslaughter at the conclusion of a two-day preliminary hearing. An earlier attempt at a plea deal in which Luna and his wife would have served six and four years in prison, respectively, fell through in August.

Cabrera is accused of driving the 2000 Infinity that allegedly ran over Adrianna Bachan, 18, and Marcus Garfinkle, 19. The incident occurred March 29, and witnesses said Luna pulled Garfinkle’s body off the windshield of the car before they sped away. The pair were arrested in April after a massive police search and the offer of a $235,000 reward.

Cabrera gave a statement to the D.A.’s office saying the light was green as she entered the intersection and that she wanted to stop but her husband urged her to leave the scene, according to testimony at the hearing.

Judge Mary Lou Villar said there was clear evidence the defendants were involved in the accident, that they did not stop to render assistance or call for help for the victims, and that they left the scene. She also said testimony from a witness that the husband and wife pushed and pulled to remove the surviving victim from the shattered windshield showed that they caused great bodily harm.

Garfinkle testified at the hearing that he still finds shards of glass in his flesh.

--Victoria Kim