NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — Serious charges have now been filed against a Riverside man accused of killing a Newport Beach woman who was walking her dog near her home.
Ali Fakhreddine, 31, is facing charges of murder, hit-and-run and driving under the influence in the crash that killed 72-year-old Cleo Coffman and her beloved dog, Bob, early Sunday morning.
“He destroyed our lives, and my life is upside down right now,” Marcus Coppini, the Coffman’s son said. “My mom was my best friend.”
Days after her death, Coffman’s sons were sharing how special the last day of their mom’s life was.
“She had a different sparkle in her eyes,” Carlos Coppini, Coffman’s other son, said. “I made a mental notice on the day, because I saw that everything she was looking it seemed like it was the first time. In my mind, it seemed like she was like a newborn baby just looking at things.”
Hours later, Coffman and her Shih Tzu would be dead and Fakhreddine, previously identified as Ali Zohair Fakhre, would be in custody.
“At the time that Riverside Police Department detained the suspect, they saw that the vehicle had fresh damage from a traffic collision,” Florentino Olivera, of California Highway Patrol, said. “They noticed that the right side of the windshield was cracked.”
Police said they also spotted blood on the vehicle. According to police records, Fakhreddine has a prior DUI conviction.
Coffman’s children have started a GoFundMe page to help cover her funeral costs. A walk and vigil will be held Sunday in the area of Mesa Drive and Irvine Avenue in her honor.