Friends and family packed a courtroom Friday morning with the expectation that Raymond Morua might take a plea deal, but his defense attorney said details were still being worked out in the deal and will be back next month.
Morua, a former aide to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, is in custody on charges that he was driving while intoxicated and struck a 27-year-old woman as she was crossing the street on Dec. 6, 2013.
Mallory Dies was taken off life support Dec. 11, five days after suffering massive head injuries.
Police stated that Morua's blood-alcohol level — 0.17 percent — was more than twice the legal limit at which a driver is considered drunk.
Morua appeared in court Friday in custody.
He is charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death. He faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted.
Family and friends of Dies appeared in court on Friday, as well as supporters of Morua.
As for a plea deal, "we're not there yet, but we're very close," Morua's attorney, Darryl Genis, told Judge Thomas Adams on Friday.
Genis said he and prosecutor Arnie Tolks were working to "iron out last remaining details for a settlement" and asked to return on April 15.
In the meantime, Morua entered a not guilty plea.