Man Sentenced in Halloween Hit-and-Run That Killed 3 Girls - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Man Sentenced in Halloween Hit-and-Run That Killed 3 Girls

The teens were donning costumes and trick-or-treating in Santa Ana on Oct. 31, 2014, when an SUV sped through a crosswalk and struck the girls

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed Teens on Halloween Sentenced

    The hit-and-run driver who killed three teens in Santa Ana last Halloween was given the maximum sentence. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 21, 2015. (Published Thursday, May 21, 2015)

    An Orange County, California, man was sentenced to over 15 years behind bars Thursday after pleading guilty to a Halloween hit-and-run crash that left three teen girls dead.

    Jaquinn Bell, 32, pleaded guilty in March to felony charges in the crash that killed twin sisters Lexandra Perez and Lexi Perez, and friend Andrea Gonzalez, all 13 years old.

    Bell was sentenced to 13 years and eight months in state prison and six months in jail, as well as an additional year and a half for a probation violation in a separate case. The OC District Attorney's Office previously said Thursday that Bell was given 14 years and eight months behind bars, but corrected the amount to a total of 15 years and eight months.

    On Halloween night 2014, the 13-year-old girls were donning costumes and trick-or-treating in Santa Ana when Bell's SUV sped through a crosswalk and struck the girls.

    Family and friends described the teens as girls who were "always laughing" and "always had a smile on their face." All three died at the scene.

    Bell ditched the SUV about three blocks from the crash and ran away, but police captured him at a Motel 6 in Stanton over a day later.

    Santa Ana police said Bell's 17-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter were in the vehicle with him at the time of the crash.

    Several witness accounts of the crash with a description of the heavily damaged vehicle led authorities to the motel, where Bell was with two other adults, including his mother, and his two children.

    Bell has a lengthy criminal record, including cases involving domestic violence, child abuse and endangerment, driving under the influence of alcohol and hit-and-run with property damage, all misdemeanors, according to court records.

    City News Service contributed to this report.