– A Hollister mother accused in the drunken driving death of her
daughter is headed to trial for vehicular manslaughter and 13 other
felony charges in late June.
Santa Cruz – A Hollister mother accused in the drunken driving death of her daughter is headed to trial for vehicular manslaughter and 13 other felony charges in late June.
Antoinette Soliz, 26, pleaded not guilty Monday during a court hearing to formal charges of vehicular manslaughter, seven counts of causing great bodily injury and five counts of child abuse, all felonies. She will be back in Santa Cruz County Superior Court for a jury trial June 25.
Ariadne Symons, chief deputy district attorney of Santa Cruz County, said she is confident in the prosecution’s case against Soliz.
“I wouldn’t file the charges if we didn’t feel we had the evidence to prove she was driving,” Symons said. “But that’s what a trial is for.”
Attorney Wesley Schroeder, who represents Soliz, did not return the Free Lance’s calls Monday. However, Schroeder had previously told the Free Lance that Soliz was not behind the wheel at the time of the crash.
Soliz’s 4-year-old daughter, Jasmine Arroyo, was killed in the crash in late January. Seven others, including five children, were seriously injured.
The 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe authorities believe Soliz was driving is registered to Cassandra Gonzalez, a 23-year-old Gilroy woman who was also injured in the crash.
Authorities believe Soliz was intoxicated and behind the wheel of the vehicle when it slammed into the center guardrail 10 miles south of Santa Cruz on Highway 1 on Jan. 29. The vehicle was crowded with two other adults and seven children at the time of the crash, the CHP reported.
Grant Boles, the public information officer for the Santa Cruz area office of the CHP, previously told the Free Lance that Soliz’s blood-alcohol level was 0.22 – nearly three times the legal limit – after the crash. The legal blood-alcohol limit in California is 0.08.
Soliz faces up to 10 years in state prison if convicted of vehicular manslaughter, according to the California Penal Code. She is being held in the Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $1 million in bail.
Michael Van Cassell covers public safety for the Free Lance. He can be reached at 831-637-5566 ext. 335 or [email protected]