December 2, 2023
The Corridor of Justice in downtown San Diego. File photograph

A San Diego lady who drove her automobile at her neighbor, who wound up clinging to the transferring car earlier than she was thrown to the bottom, inflicting deadly accidents, was convicted Wednesday of fees together with assault with a lethal weapon.

Samantha Muniz, 45, was discovered responsible by a San Diego jury for the altercation that led to the June 27, 2022, dying of Jennelle Self, 29.

Muniz was initially arrested on suspicion of homicide however was solely charged with the lesser counts. Prosecutors declined to touch upon the charging determination.

She was convicted of assault with a lethal weapon for the driving altercation, in addition to counts of brandishing a knife and assault for 2 different incidents, each of which additionally concerned Self.

Prosecutors stated that on June 27, Self was standing in entrance of Muniz’s automobile when the defendant accelerated towards her. Whereas Self clung to the automobile, Muniz continued driving till Self fell to the road.

Deputy District Lawyer Kelsey Hollander stated Self sustained blunt drive trauma to her head and went into cardiac arrest. She was taken to a hospital, the place she died.

At trial, Hollander detailed a longstanding feud between the ladies, who have been neighbors at a Veterans Village of San Diego transitional housing property on Imperial Avenue.

Hollander alleged that simply earlier than Self was fatally injured, Muniz waved a knife in Self’s face throughout a heated argument. In February of 2022, Muniz threw a chair from her second story balcony, hanging Self, who was beneath.

The February assault led Self to hunt a short lived restraining order towards Muniz, which a choose granted. In her restraining order request, Self alleged Muniz had struck her with a car on one other event and had threatened to stab her.

Protection lawyer Bridget Rubin instructed jurors Muniz acted in self-defense and stated Self was the aggressor.

Rubin alleged Muniz was making an attempt to go away her residence, however Self positioned herself in entrance of her automobile and slammed her fists on the automobile’s hood in an try to impress a battle.

The lawyer alleged Muniz thought she had sufficient area to show and drive away from Self, however Self jumped onto the car.

Hollander instructed jurors Self didn’t pose a risk to Muniz, as she was behind the wheel of her automobile and armed with knives.

The prosecutor confirmed jurors a sequence of textual content messages wherein Muniz referred to Self in derogatory phrases, which Hollander stated confirmed Muniz acted “out of anger and hatred” in the direction of Self and never self-defense.

Muniz faces as much as eight years in state jail at sentencing. She’s remained out of custody by means of the vast majority of the case and was ordered to report back to courtroom on Monday to be remanded to county jail.

Metropolis Information Service contributed to this text.