Man charged with murder of 14-year-old girl in Newport Beach drunken driving crash

A DUI suspect accused of murdering a 14-year-old Newport Beach girl was charged with her murder Wednesday.

The suspect was identified as Joseph Alcazar, 30, of Fontana, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The victim was Rosenda Elizabeth Smiley, 14, of Rialto.


The accident happened Saturday, May 25 near Balboa Boulevard and Palm Street around 6:49 p.m., about a block from the Balboa Fun Zone.

The girl was crossing the street on E. Balboa Boulevard with two other people at the time, Newport Beach police said.

An oncoming driver stopped to let the group of pedestrians cross the road. However, Alcazar decided to go around the stopped car and continued down the street. That’s when her car struck Smiley as she was walking, while running over the foot of a 13-year-old girl, police said.

Emergency crews rushed to the scene where Smiley was clearly dead.

Investigators found that Alcazar’s 8-year-old daughter and another man were inside his car during the fatal crash. He allegedly drove with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.

Alcazar had previously been convicted of two drunken driving incidents, including one related to a crash that left him seriously injured, police said.

He was arrested at the scene and charged on Wednesday with:

  • One count of murder
  • One count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury with two previous convictions
  • One count of driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more with two prior convictions
  • One misdemeanor count of willful child endangerment

“A 14-year-old girl living the California dream and enjoying a day of sun and sand at the beach with friends to start the summer died because of the selfish decision of a stranger,” said the Orange County Prosecutor Todd Spitzer. . “A multiple drunk driver not only killed a little girl, but also endangered his own daughter’s life by getting behind the wheel after drinking and traumatizing her and the other young girls who crashed with him. seen hitting and killing a teenage girl. Instead of a summer of memories with their daughter, Rosenda Smiley’s family is now forced to live with the harsh reality that the only memories she will have are those that could fit the fourteen short years of her young life.

If convicted on all counts, Alcazar faces up to 15 years to life in prison, plus six years in prison.

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