Suspected drunk driver had prior arrests

June 9, 2009 5:31:50 PM PDT
The man who police say killed one man and critically injured another over the weekend is now being held without bond.The victim was a Good Samaritan who had pulled over on the Southwest Freeway early Sunday morning to help a disabled driver. Police say that man was killed when Victor Tugwell drove into his car. The disabled driver was injured. Police say Tugwell was drunk at the time of the deadly wreck.

Eyewitness News has learned that Tugwell was out on bond for another driving while intoxicated charge at the time.

We have been going over the suspect's court records, and we found some things in there the judge told us he didn't even know about. He certainly wished he had. As soon as Eyewitness News brought it to his attention, he immediately reversed a ruling he made just this morning.

Tugwell walked out of court today, headed back to jail. That's where local victims' advocates hope this suspected drunk driver will stay. The last time we saw Tugwell was early Sunday morning, just moments after prosecutors say he hit and killed Fahad Mughal on the Southwest Freeway.

Court records we uncovered show Tugwell never should have been out of jail to begin with, much less behind the wheel of a car. On April 15, police say Tugwell crashed a car while intoxicated, then later walked out of jail on bond. On May 10, police arrested him again, this time for threatening his girlfriend. Court records show the two started fighting after she complained he was sending text messages while driving. Once again, he made bond.

But the mayor's crime victim's advocate, Andy Kahan, says that never should have happened.

"That should be it," Kahan insisted. "One bond per customer. You shouldn't be allowed to continue to make bond after bond after bond."

Amazingly in court today, it happened one more time, as the judge granted a $60,000 bond. When we called the judge, we found he didn't even know about Tugwell's prior record. Immediately, he revoked the bond. Tugwell is still behind bars, with no sign of getting out soon.

Tugwell's last three arrests took place in the last month. In the last 15 years, though, he has racked up many more.

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