Woman accused of hitting, killing tourist appears in court


The lawyer for Gina Eunice says her client has never been in trouble with the law and in fact, wanted to become a police officer.

Eunice did not seem to acknowledge the family or friends who packed the courtroom, some of them wiping away tears.

The 23-year-old woman is accused of being drunk behind the wheel and then taking off after plowing her car into a group of pedestrians on Dec. 20th.

They had been walking along the road by the scenic Twin Peaks vista point. Yuee Yao, 56, who was visiting from China was killed when she was knocked down the hillside. Her son and two other friends were injured.

During her arrest, Eunice said, "I know my rights, I know my rights."

According to her attorney, Eunice may have learned those rights in school.

"She was one quarter short from graduating from college. She was studying criminal justice, hoping to become a police officer," said Pam Herzig, Eunice's attorney.

Now she's in custody on $2 million bail, facing four felonies including vehicular manslaughter. If she is able to post bail, the judge ordered her to wear an alcohol monitor and to refrain from driving.

District Attorney George Gascon says this case will be handled, in his words, "very aggressively." He said, "This particular defendant, not only was she driving under the influence of alcohol causing and cause a tragedy, but in addition to that she also fled the scene and that also has additional consequences and so that will be dealt with accordingly."

The young woman's supporters did not want to talk on camera, but her attorney hinted at recent losses she says may have played a role in the tragedy.

"There are things that their family has been going through that probably has a lot to do with the full picture of how everything happened the way it did last Thursday," said Herzig.

We did not see any members of the victim's family in court on Wednesday. Those who were injured have been released from the hospital.

Eunice returns to court next week.

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