Outrage as rich teen gets slap on the wrist for vehicular manslaughter of female motorist, in his $218,000 Lamborghini birthday present while speeding at 100mph
Brendan Khuri, 18, was sentenced to up to nine months at a juvenile camp and four years probation for killing Monique Munoz, 32
Khuri, then 17, was racing his girlfriend racing through the streets of Los Angeles on Feb 7, when he crashed into Munoz’s sedan
She was killed on the spot
Khuri’s defense argued that the teen had been diagnosed with autism, depression and attention deficit disorder following the deadly February crash
The lawyer claimed that Brendan, the son of multi-millionaire James Khuri, would be ‘victimized’ at a juvenile camp for his condition
Prosecutors demanded he be sentenced to a juvenile camp, citing his previous racing incidents that caused his license to be suspended
The victim’s asked the judge to sentence the teen to the maximum penalty possible. “I’m going to ask the court that we get justice for my daughter; she deserves that much,” Carolyn Cardona said. “My life is not the same, nor will it ever be.”
Tried and convicted as an adult, Brendan Khuri would have been facing a six year sentence
A 17-year-old trust fund baby who crashed a Lamborghini his dad gave him into a secretary’s car at 100mph early in the year, killing the other driver has been sentenced to just seven to nine months at a juvenile camp.
Brendan Khuri, who son of Los Angeles based millionaire James Khuri, 46, was behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Urus SUV, racing with his girlfriend at 100mph, when it crashed into Monique Munoz on February 17, killing the 32-year-old, and was ordered to the prison camp at his sentencing on Thursday.
The younger Khuri began his stint in custody six months after pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in Inglewood Juvenile Court.
In a motion that outraged prosecutors during the April trial, Khuri’s defense argued that he should serve the majority of his sentence in probation at his family’s mansion.
Khuri’s attorney, Mark Werksman, told the court the defendant was diagnosed with autism, depression and attention deficit disorder following the crash, where they claimed he sustained brain injuries, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Another expert witness called by defense, Psychologist Karen Schiltz, testified before the Los Angeles County Superior Court, that Brendan Khuri likely suffered from autism his entire life but was never diagnosed and that he would be ‘victimized’ if he were to be held in an LA County juvenile camp.
Monique Munoz’s family who view the sentence as too light, are demanding justice
‘House arrest in a mansion is not punishment,’ Cynthia Crespin, Munoz’s cousin, said in court last week. ‘He took an innocent life in a careless and senseless way.’
The 32-yearold secretary had been trapped in the wreckage following the crash and died at the scene, the LA Police Department said.
Munoz had been preparing to start law school. Her friends and family have lashed out at the handling of the case, saying the teen has been treated differently because of his father’s wealth and status.
James Khuri is a multi-millionaire who owns several real estate firms and an e-commerce business.
The bereaved family are calling for Khuri senior to also face criminal responsibility for the deadly car crash despite his repeated apologies regarding the accident.
Prosecutors had pushed for Brendan to spend time in a juvenile camp because of his previous record driving recklessly in Beverly Hills.
LA police officials testified that the teen had been cited twice for excessive speeding and had even had his license suspended over his antics in the Lamborghini, which retails for a minimum of $218,000.
Although the driver has no criminal record, prosecutors had argued that he should spend time in a juvenile camp because the fatal crash was not the first time he’d driven recklessly. The teen had been cited twice for driving at excessive speeds in Beverly Hills, resulting in his driver’s license being suspended, investigators said in court
The teen had also put up social media posts about his racing and drifting activities in the weeks before the deadly crash.
Munoz’s uncle, Richard Cartier, had called on the court to deny house arrest for the Brendan during protests over the case in August.
‘I’m looking for this kid to actually get what he deserves,’ Muñoz’s uncle Richard Cartier told ABC 7.
‘He murdered my niece and he had no remorse for any life of any kind and he showed it.
Munoz’s stepfather, Isaac Cordona, 55, of Hawthorne, California., revealed he is heartbroken, his grieving his daughter in a media interview earlier this year.
His wife, Monique’s mother Carol, 54, was too upset to speak to speak with the press instead, poured out her emotions in a Facebook post on February 18.
She wrote: ‘My baby my life my everything my heart is broken in so many pieces mommy is going to miss you sooo much.
‘I LOVE YOU FOREVER BABY FEELS LIKE A BAD DREAM RIP MY BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS.’
“[The driver] needs to be held accountable the same as any other kid who appears in this court,” she said.
Before Helton delivered her ruling, several of Munoz’s relatives spoke and footage of the crash was shown. In a tearful appeal, Munoz’s mother, Carol Cardona, asked Helton to sentence the teen to the maximum penalty possible. “I’m going to ask the court that we get justice for my daughter; she deserves that much,” Cardona said.
My life is not the same, nor will it ever be.”
If convicted of vehicular manslaughter as an adult, the driver could have faced a maximum of six years in state prison. Nine months is the longest he can be sentenced to stay in the county’s camp system, though that tenure could be extended depending on his behavior in custody.
Following the crash, dozens of protesters gathered at the site of the crash chanting and holding up signs saying ‘Justice for Monique’.
A subdued Khuri apologized to the victim’s family in court on Thursday.
“I realize my suffering does not even come close to what you have gone through,” he said to the Munoz family.
“I was a spoiled, reckless 17-year-old who thought I was invincible.”
Defense attorney Werksman said in a statement : ‘Lawyers for the Khuri family and the Munoz family have worked out a financial settlement in order to allow the families to heal, and they are in the process of finalizing those details. They ask for privacy during this sad and traumatic time.’