Thursday, February 23, 2012

Los Angeles, CA: Man charged with kidnapping, girlfriend's murder in deadly pursuit

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles man who allegedly forced his girlfriend into an SUV and then led police on a chase that ended with a head-on collision that killed the mother of three made his first court appearance today and was ordered to remain jailed without bail pending arraignment March 7.
Jeffrey Minifie, 39, is charged in the death of 36-year-old Lillian Janeth Pleitez-Duarte, who was fatally injured when a GMC Yukon he was driving west on Sixth Street in the Westlake district crashed head-on into an eastbound Volvo about 8:10 a.m. last Thursday.
The murder count includes the special circumstance allegation of murder during a kidnapping, which makes Minifie eligible for a death sentence if convicted.
Prosecutors will decide later whether to pursue capital punishment for Minifie, who is also charged with one count each of kidnapping and evading an officer causing injury.
Minifie allegedly forced his girlfriend into his vehicle, made a U-turn when he saw police responding to another call and veered into oncoming traffic as police began to chase the SUV, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The Volvo's driver was also hurt in the collision, authorities said.

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