Monday, March 27 , 2017, 12:23 am | Fair 57º


Local News

Murder Arraignment Delayed for Raymond Morua in DUI, Hit-and-Run Case

Former aide to Rep. Lois Capps is charged in the death of Mallory Rae Dies, 27, in Santa Barbara

A former congressional aide suspected of driving under the influence in a hit-and-run incident that fatally injured a Santa Barbara woman was in court on Friday for arraignment, but his case was continued until next week.

Raymond Victor Morua, 32, of Santa Barbara is facing charges of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, according to District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

Mallory Rae Dies, 27, suffered major head injuries in the incident, and died five days later after being removed from life support.

Morua was traveling southbound "at a high rate of speed" in the right lane of the one-way street when he struck Dies, knocking her to the ground, police say.

She sustained significant head trauma after hitting the pavement, and Morua allegedly fled the scene in his vehicle, eventually hitting a palm tree when he turned onto Cabrillo Boulevard.

After five days of extensive surgeries, Dies was taken off of life support by her family on Wednesday afternoon.

Deputy Public Defender Michael Hanley speaks with reporters Friday after a court hearing for Raymond Morua. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

After that, Morua's charges were changed from felony DUI to murder, since he has prior DUI convictions.

Earlier this week, Morua also appeared for arraignment but was represented by attorney Sam Eaton. As of Friday morning, the case had been handed over to Hanley.

During the brief proceedings, Morua kept his eyes downcast while seated behind the glass in the courtroom. After Hanley raised concerns about the significant media presence in the courtroom, Adams said he would allow it since media had been given access to the case earlier in the week.

Hanley spoke briefly to reporters outside of court, saying that his office just received Morua's case, and that they needed time to conduct their due diligence in the case.

Hanley said that the incident leading to Dies' death was "a tragic situation," and that his client is "deeply sorry" for what has happened.

The case will be back in court on Wednesday.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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