Brendan Khuri teen Lamborghini driver charged in Monique Munoz death. Los Angeles prosecutors levy charges against boy who is accused of speeding while declining to say what exactly those charges are until later in April.
Brendan Khuri, 17, was behind the wheel of the sports car when it crashed into Monique Munoz, 32, in February. His mogul business father gave it him for his 17th birthday.
He plowed into Munoz, who was driving her Lexus sedan home from work, killing her and injuring himself. He was taken to the hospital with what his family lawyer described as a brain injury. It’s unclear what kind of condition he is in now.
It wasn’t until a month later that the teenager was arrested for vehicular manslaughter in March, while no charges were initially filed.
On Wednesday, the L.A. District Attorney’s Office announced that it had filed charges, while declining to reveal what those charges are – or if the teen is being charged as a juvenile or adult – until April 23, when he is arraigned cbslosangeles reported.
Millionaire son privilege treatment?
The move comes as the LAPD had previously recommended charges.
‘We’ve done a filing,’ Supervising Detective James Dickson of the LAPD’s West Traffic department told the dailymail. ‘That filing was presented to the LA County Juvenile DA. It’s currently in his office.’
‘The arrest charge was 192(c)(1), negligent vehicular manslaughter.
‘I can’t regurgitate what we found, but based upon multiple witness statements that corroborate one another, it’s clear that there was gross negligence.’
Dickson said he believed the Lamborghini was racing with an Audi, which was also found at the scene but was not involved in the crash.
‘We believe that that vehicle was potentially engaged in a speed contest with the Lamborghini. That’s a separate investigation and that’s ongoing so I’m not willing to comment at the moment, but we do believe that it was involved,’ he said.
The detective added that Brendan was absentee booked while in hospital. A lawyer for the Khuri family, criminal defense attorney Mark Werksman, denied Brendan was racing.
Who buys their teen novice driver son a high performance sports car worth half a million dollars capable of traveling at lethal speeds?
Dickson said that ‘from evidence recovered and eyewitness accounts the vehicle was being operated at an unsafe speed.’
Under a picture of a Lamborghini race car on an LA street posted in December on Instagram, the the teen’s father James Khuri wrote ‘Fun Friday afternoon racing another Lamborghini SVJ on Sunset. Of course going speed limit.’
Those posts have since been deleted.
Werksman said in a statement to DailyMail.com: ‘The Khuri family is devastated by the tragic accident on February 17, 2021 that caused the death of Monique Munoz. Their hearts go out to the Munoz family for their incomparable loss.
‘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.
‘And while I will not discuss the details of the case or the factual allegations with you, I can tell you that there was no racing going on with any other vehicle at the time of the crash. The allegation that there was racing going on at the time of impact is simply false.’
Two families torn to the core
Werksman later contacted DailyMail.com, asking to change his original statement to clarify that a settlement had not yet been agreed with Munoz’s family.
‘The parties are working amicably towards reaching a financial settlement,’ he said.
On September 23 James posted on Facebook a picture of himself with his arm around his son and the grey, $517,000 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ in the background next to a black Lamborghini SUV.
‘My son and I hanging out cruising in the Hills. Everyone knows who’s [sic] car is faster,’ he wrote.
The next month he posted on Instagram another picture of the two of them posing in front of a gold SVJ and the same black SUV, with the caption: ‘Lambo Urus vs SVJ!! Father Vs Son!!! I have to win. But if I lose, I still have my son.’
Read another post late last year, ‘My son Brendan James Khuri. I love him more than anything that exists in this world.’
Detective Dickson stressed while the father is not involved in Munoz’s death, he sent requests to Instagram and Facebook to preserve the posts as evidence.
‘We are interested in those posts,’ Dickson said. ‘However, he [James] deleted most of his social media accounts before we were able to recover anything. That doesn’t mean we can’t get those posts. We certainly can, they’re just not readily available.
‘We do a preservation letter and search warrant for Instagram and Facebook and they preserve those items in an archive until we get the search warrant to them.
‘The whole family is utterly devastated by what happened.’
‘The preservation letter was sent immediately. I don’t know what status we are on the search warrant.’
Close family friend Candace Greene told DailyMail.com that Brendan remained at hospital after suffering a brain injury in the February accident.
‘The kid is beyond remorseful, he cries every day,’ she said.
‘He’s been in the hospital since the day of the accident with a brain injury so he did not walk away from this with cuts and scrapes.
‘He is petrified. He has been somewhat under the care of the police. They have been at the hospital, they know what’s going on,’ she added.
‘It’s going to be for the DA, the courts and the judge to decide… He has been booked. He is not incarcerated because he is in a hospital bed with his mother by his side.
‘The whole family is utterly devastated by what happened.’
Greene said Brendan was given the vehicle for his 17th birthday in June by his father, despite opposition from the boy’s mother Christine, 53, who divorced James in 2008.
James, who is described as a ‘serial entrepreneur’ in a glowing 2020 Forbes profile, is the boss of distribution company FJ Holdings which counts tech giant Amazon among its clients.
Keep blowing this up! Monique Munoz and her loved ones deserves justice. Share to all platforms 🥺🙏🏼 #justiceformoniquemunoz #justiceformonique #jameskhuri #brendankhuri #takeaccountability #DoTheRightThing pic.twitter.com/mzaGCZTkvj
— wendy (@wendywestcoast) March 8, 2021
Serial entrepreneur dad with vast fortune
He has made many of his millions from manufacturing and distributing trading cards including Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic the Gathering.
James’ company is projected to turn over $200 million in 2021 and he enjoys the trappings of success: he lives in an $8 million Beverly Hills mansion, has shared photographs of himself on private jets, and is known for his love of Lamborghinis.
Detective Dickson said police were awaiting DMV records for Brandon and had not yet been able to confirm whether he had a provisional drivers license.
Under California law, drivers in possession of an instruction permit cannot drive a vehicle alone and must be accompanied by an adult aged over 25 at all times.
California teenagers are allowed to apply for an instruction permit aged 16 but are not allowed to drive alone until they have passed their test or turn 17.
Brendan had turned 17 but it is not known whether he had passed his test. Minors are also prohibited from driving between 11pm and 5am until they turn 18.
Following February’s crash, dozens of protesters gathered at the site of the crash chanting and holding up signs saying ‘Justice for Monique’.
At stake is justice and closure for one victim’s family while for another shattered family is what will become of their son’s future in the years ahead.
Dickson said that street racing had become a problem in LA since the coronavirus lockdown began last year.
Justice for Monique?
‘It’s been particularly egregious during covid, especially at the beginning when people were locked down and staying home,’ he said.
‘People had open roads, particularly surface streets, that they were basically able to do whatever speed they wanted on due to the lack of traffic. So we have seen an increase in reckless driving.
‘I can’t say specifically we’ve seen an increase in fatalities because we’re about on par, but we’ve seen more fatalities from people driving at high rates of speed and a few street racing incidents… But by definition we should be lower because there were less people on the roads in the first probably six months of the lockdown.’