Alleged DUI Driver Charged in Crash That Killed Mother Sleeping Next to Child in South L.A. Apartment

A car crashed into an apartment building in South Los Angeles on July 3, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A car crashed into an apartment building in South Los Angeles on July 3, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol when her car crashed into a South Los Angeles apartment, killing a mother who was asleep beside her young daughter, has pleaded not guilty to charges, prosecutors said Friday.

Connie Jo Howard, 59, has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury and driving with .08% blood alcohol content causing injury, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Nicole Marks is seen in an image provided by family members.

Nicole Marks is seen in an image provided by family members.

The crash happened in the pre-dawn hours of July 3.

Nicole Marks, 44, was sleeping next to her 4-year-old daughter when a car slammed into her bedroom in a building near Main Street and 87th Street Place, prosecutors said.

The crash caused wall fragments to fatally strike Marks, according to Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Jon Pinto.

Her daughter was not seriously hurt.

Howard and a male passenger were critically injured and had to be extricated from the car, said Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Lopez.

The defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted as charged, according to prosecutors.

She is due back in court on July 31 and is being held on $1.13 million bail.

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