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Drunk driver killed brother, faces manslaughter charges, D.A. says

March 13, 2013 | 12:01 pm

A Costa Mesa man accused of killing his brother and injuring a nephew while driving drunk at a high rate of speed will be arraigned Wednesday on felony manslaughter charges, Orange County prosecutors said.

Felix Jacobo Brito, 37, has been charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence, one felony count of driving under the influence, causing bodily injury, and a misdemeanor count of driving a motor vehicle without a valid license, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Brito is being held on $100,000 bail. If convicted, prosecutors said he could face a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison.

Shortly after midnight on Monday, prosecutors said that Brito was driving fast on Fairview Street in Santa Ana while under the influence of alcohol. His 47-year-old brother, Felipe Brito, was in the front passenger seat and his 27-year-old nephew, John Andrade, was in the back.

Prosecutors said that as Felix Brito approached a vehicle in front of him, he veered to the right, jumped a curb and struck a light pole and a palm tree. His car then smashed through a chain-link fence and came to a halt when it landed on its side in a flood control channel.

His brother was pronounced dead at the scene, and Andrade was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for several broken ribs and other injuries, prosecutors said.

  Brito was also taken to a hospital, where he showed signs of intoxication, including smelling of alcohol and having bloodshot, watery eyes, prosecutors said. He was released from the hospital after a few hours into the custody of Santa Ana police.

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-- Rick Rojas

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