LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Five alleged gang members were charged Monday with carjacking and attempting to murder a pregnant woman in Sunland last week.
Jesus Morales, 18, Andrew Bran, 19, Christian Reyes, 20, Christina Luna, 24, and Monica Gomez, 25, were arraigned Monday afternoon at the San Fernando courthouse. They are facing one count each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder, carjacking, second-degree robbery and hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage, a misdemeanor. The criminal complaint includes a gang allegation.
Reyes also faces one count of aggravated mayhem and an allegation that he personally used a knife as a deadly weapon.
The 33-year-old victim, identified as first-grade teacher Tanya Nguyen, was parking her vehicle outside her home in the 10800 block of Eldora Avenue about 6 p.m. March 20 when Reyes, Bran and Morales allegedly ambushed her, according to police and prosecutors. The assailants asked for her phone and decided to take the car when they didn’t get it, authorities said.
Reyes allegedly stabbed at 10 times before the men drove off in her car, crashing into parked vehicles as they fled the scene. Luna and Gomez were allegedly waiting nearby in a getaway vehicle.
Nguyen, who was 12 weeks pregnant, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, but reported to be in stable condition the next day.
Authorities said she was stabbed in the chest and her husband told reporters that she also had defensive wounds.
“She’s got 10 punctures from stabbing, one of which went all the way through the nose,” her husband, Greg Maga, said shortly after the attack. “Because she’s pregnant, she tried to protect herself from the stabbing, she used her hand, so she has a lot of stabs on her hand.”
Nguyen was discharged from the hospital over the weekend and appeared in a YouTube video posted Sunday night. The video shows the first-grade teacher in bed, covered with blankets as a pair of pink bears looks on in the background.
“Thank you so much for all your love and support. I’m completely overwhelmed by it, and very grateful for all your support and being there for me at this time,” Nguyen said, choking up. “I’m gonna get through this. I promise.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Nguyen with medical bills.
Maga said the attack was captured on the couple’s home surveillance system.
Prosecutors plan to ask for bail of $1.9 million for Reyes and $1.4 million for the other four defendants. If convicted as charged, they each face a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)