A suspected drunken driver delayed her arraignment Tuesday on murder charges in connection with a fatal hit-and-run collision so her family could hire a lawyer.
In addition to murder, Perla Ibeth Vazquez faces gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in connection with 54-year-old Frank Winslow's death Friday on Highway 168 in Clovis. She also is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal collision and driving on a suspended license for a prior drunken driving conviction.
If convicted of murder, Vazquez, who turns 25 Thursday, faces a minimum of 15 years to life in prison.
In a brief appearance Tuesday in Fresno County Superior Court, a shackled Vazquez agreed to delay her arraignment to Nov. 1. Until then, she will be held in the Fresno County Jail on $1.1 million bail, Judge Don Penner said.
A criminal complaint says Vazquez, who also goes by Vasquez, has prior convictions for drunken driving in February 2006 and August last year.
The complaint also accused Vazquez of five misdemeanor charges, including drunken driving, driving with a suspended license and hit-and run stemming from an incident on July 9 of this year. Details of that incident were not immediately available.
Relatives say Vazquez went to a concert Thursday night at the Rainbow Ballroom. Around 3:15 a.m. Friday, Vazquez's Infiniti G-35 rear-ended Winslow's Jeep Wrangler as she traveled behind it in the slow lane on Highway 168, the California Highway Patrol said. The impact caused the Jeep to go off the embankment.
Minutes after her arrest, Vazquez passed out in the back of a patrol car. Her blood-alcohol level has not yet been made public.
The CHP said Winslow, of Clovis, was wearing his seat belt but was partly thrown from the Jeep. He was headed home from his job as a truck driver.