The Clark County District Attorney announced Aylin Alvarez-Perez, the driver suspected of causing the crash that killed 8-year-old Levi Echenique, has been charged with murder in the second degree. She was expected to plead guilty Friday.
On Aug. 31 around 9:00 a.m. The Echeniques were driving their Levi to school. Jose Echenique, Levi's dad said they were at a red light when Levi asked him a question.
"He said, "Daddy how do we get to heaven?", then I felt like I was hit in the head with a sledgehammer," Jose Echenique said.
At the intersection of Harmon and Eastern, the Echenique's car was t-boned. Jose and Briejet, Levi's parents were both hurt, and Levi died. Police say 25-year-old Aylin Alvarez-Perez was high when she hit their car.
"There are no words to describe how we are feeling right now," Briejet, Levi's mom said.
In Nevada, drivers are considered impaired with more than two nanograms of marijuana in their blood. District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Alvarez-Perez had nine nanograms in her blood during the time of the crash.
Police also said she was going more than 100 miles per hour in school zones and was running red lights. For the first time in Nevada State history, someone will plead guilty to a murder charge for driving under the influence, Wolfson said.
"This isn't your typical murder case, it usually involves weapons," Wolfson said. "But when you're weaving in and out of traffic doing 100 miles an hour and you're on drugs, that's just a callous disregard for human life."
The Echeniques described Levi as kind and warm and said he loved his big brother Joey more than anything. They said he loved Spongebob, and loved reading the bible before bed. That is how they wanted people to remember him.
The family, including Levi parents have been recovering from their injuries from the crash. They've set up a gofundme page to help pay for some of the costs.
Alvarez-Perez has been listed at Aylin Alderette in official police reports.
Her lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.
The District Attorney also made a motion in court that raised Alvarez-Perez's bail amount from $250,000 to $1 million, the statement said.
“In a typical DUI causing death case, it is not normal for murder charges to be filed,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said. “However, the facts of this case are not typical, and the recklessness and blatant disregard for human life that was displayed by the defendant warranted the more serious charge."
Wolfson said that charging Alvarez-Perez with only driving under the influence and reckless driving was "simply not enough."
“We are seeing more and more cases like this,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Eric Bauman said. “As a community, we need to come up with better ways to discourage this type of behavior. Drivers are becoming more reckless and completely disregarding not only our DUI laws, but our basic traffic safety laws as well. This puts everyone on the streets in danger. Enough is enough.”