Santa Barbara, CA- An aide to Congresswoman Lois Capps was arrested last Friday after he crashed into a pedestrian and fled the scene of the accident. Now the aide is facing vehicle manslaughter and felony DUI.
Last Friday, Raymond Morua, 32, who has worked as aide to Rep. Capps (D.-since 2011, was driving on Anacapa Street when he struck a pedestrian near the 500 block. Witness say after he struck the woman, Morua stopped briefly to look back and then fled the scene.
Witnesses pursued him and followed him to the dead end on Anacapa Street where they implored him to return to the scene of the accident. Morua refused to stop and sped away from witnesses then slammed his car into a palm tree.
The pedestrian, 27 year-old, Mallory Rae Dies, initially survived the impact of the crash but was on life-support. One Wednesday of this week Dies was taken off life-support and died, according to KSBY.
According to police reports, Morua admitted to drinking gin and tonics at a party in downtown Santa Barbara. His blood alcohol level after the accident was .17 almost twice the legal limit.
He was placed under arrest and initially charged with felony DUI and hit-and-run, but now that Dies is now deceased Morua will also be charged with vehicular manslaughter. His bail was initially set at $100,000 but will likely be increased to $250,000 now that Dies has died.
After the accident, Rep. Capps released this statement, “I am truly heartbroken at the news of this tragic event. My heart goes out to the victim and her family and friends in this trying time, and my prayers are with them. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this legal matter and I have complete trust in our local authorities.”
Days after the accident Morua, who worked as a constituent liaison at Rep. Capps Santa Barbara office, was fired.
The Daily Caller reported that Morua had a number of criminal charges from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties including previous DUI charges, a hit and run from 2006 and embezzlement charges.
A representative from Rep. Capps’s office said they do not routinely conduct criminal background checks before they hire aides.
Rep. Capps and her now deceased husband Walter were hit head-on by a drunk driver in the early 90s. Many believe it was sympathy for this accident that helped Walter Capps win his first Congressional seat in 1994.
Even though she was the victim of a drunk driving accident she has been criticized for her record of being lenient towards DUI drivers. In 2002 she voted against a bill that would make it illegal to drink under the influence of drugs or alcohol at land border points of entry. The law would have given border patrol agents the right to test drivers for intoxication. She also helped an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of a DUI avoid deportation.