Family of toddler killed in DUI crash frustrated that suspect has not yet been charged

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- A grandfather says it appears preferential treatment is being given to the wife of a sheriff's deputy who's responsible for a tragic accident.

Yarenit Malihan was on probation on DUI and child endangerment charges and being investigated for another DUI that killed a toddler.

It was then that Malihan was arrested again.

RELATED: East Bay woman arrested for DUI crash that killed toddler in trouble again

Malihan's husband is a deputy with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department but the DA says this has nothing to do with any decisions they're making in terms of filing charges.

But on Friday at noon, police were called to the intersection of Sunol Rd. and Bernal to reports of a woman lying in the street. Police found Malihan, who appeared to be intoxicated. She was later arrested.

This is her third alcohol or drug-related arrest in less than a year.

"Three times. Something's gotta be done," said Chuck Manoiki. He's frustrated that Malihan was arrested again, this time for public intoxication.

RELATED: Sheriff's deputy's wife arrested for DUI that killed 3-year-old in San Ramon

"Granted, she wasn't driving. But what if she did get behind a wheel again, who knows what could happen, another life could have been taken away," Manoiki said.

Manoiki's 3-year-old grandson, Elijah Dunn, was killed last September when Malihan's SUV hit a car stopped on the shoulder of 680 in San Ramon after running out of gas.

Elijah was in the car with his mom, brother and sister, who survived the crash. "My daughter, her heart aches every single day, every day. My son-in-law's heart aches every day. My grandson, my granddaughter, they're not going to get their brother back," Manoiki said.

Malihan was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs after the wreck. Manoiki is concerned that it's been nine months since the deadly wreck without any charges being filed.

"Let this play out with her in jail, period," he said.

And there's a perception among the family and in the community that Malihan may be receiving special treatment because her husband is a deputy with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

"Anybody else would be in the lockup and whatnot and I don't know if it has something to do with her husband being a police officer," Manoiki said.

Contra Costa County DA Derek Butts said, "The fact that her husband is law enforcement has no bearing whatsoever on any decision or action we take with regard to the case."

The Contra Costa County DA says the case is a top priority, but they only got the reports from CHP investigators in January and went back and forth with the CHP until February or March. They expect to file charges soon, possibly by the end of the month.

In addition to considering Malihan's Friday arrest, the DA is factoring in her first DUI arrest in June of 2016. In the instance, Malihan was pulled over in Pleasanton with her 10-year-old child in the car.

She pleaded no contest to DUI and child endangerment charges and was put on probation in December.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.