By CBSLA Staff

COSTA MESA (CBSLA) — A Costa Mesa man with several DUI convictions has been charged with murder after a hit-and-run crash that killed a 74-year-old man.

Stewart Waithanji, 28, was arrested in the parking lot of a Los Alamitos bar not long after the crash Saturday afternoon on Newport Boulevard, south of 17th Street, in Costa Mesa, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

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“He’s a dangerous person. We’ve charged him with first-degree murder and our goal is to keep him off the streets for life,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.

Prosecutors say police were called to the hit-and-run and found 74-year-old Richard Frost in the street. Frost died after being taken to a local hospital.

Witnesses told police the Frost had been trying to stop the driver of a silver Chevy Malibu from leaving the scene of the crash when he was struck and thrown off the hood of Waithanji’s car.

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Prior to this incident, Waithanji has been convicted for five DUIs.

Waithanji has three prior driving under the influence convictions in Iowa and was wanted on two DUI warrants – one from September 2019, and another from October 2019, according to district attorney’s officials.

He was arrested for DUI in Seal Beach in September 2019 and in Tustin the next month for DUI. His arrest Saturday on suspicion of  DUI in Costa Mesa makes it his 6th DUI.

He has been charged with murder, driving under the influence, and hit-and-run.

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He is being held in Orange County jail on $2.25 million and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on April 30. Waithanji faces a maximum sentence of life if convicted of all charges.