DAKOTA CITY -- Maria Gonzalez-Diego hung out at another teenager's house, drinking tequila for around three hours before striking and killing a pedestrian with her car, court documents show.

Maria Gonzalez-Diego mugshot


Gonzalez-Diego, 19, told police that she was at 18-year-old Joel Perea Duenas' South Sioux City home on June 24 when he offered her the alcohol, according to an arrest affidavit filed against Perea Duenas.

Perea Duenas was arrested last week on a charge of procuring alcohol for a minor resulting in serious bodily injury or death.

Joel Perea Duenas mugshot

Perea Duenas

Perea Duenas made his first court appearance Tuesday and posted 10 percent, or $3,500, of a $35,000 bond and was released from the Dakota County Jail. Judge Kurt Rager scheduled his preliminary hearing for July 16.

According to the affidavit, during an interview with police Perea Duenas said that Gonzalez-Diego was hanging out at his house when he asked her if she wanted anything to drink and told her there was a bottle of tequila in the refrigerator. Perea Duenas gave her a cup and a Coke to mix with the tequila, he said, and he drank Corona beer. Perea Duenas also admitted giving Gonzalez-Diego THC wax to smoke, the affidavit said.

Under Nebraska law, it is a felony to procure alcohol to a minor if it results in injury or death to any person and was caused by a minor's consumption of the alcohol or impaired condition that resulted from the alcohol provided to the minor.

Gonzalez-Diego is charged in Dakota County Court with motor vehicle homicide and failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death. She is accused of striking Antonia Lopez De Ramirez June 24 in the intersection of East 15th and B streets in South Sioux City. Lopez De Ramirez, 62, died later at a hospital.

According to court documents, Gonzalez-Diego told police she had been drinking tequila and was on her phone when she hit Lopez De Ramirez. She told police she became scared and drove off.

Gonzalez-Diego was arrested a short time later in Sioux City after witnesses saw a car swerving and almost striking other vehicles. A preliminary breath test showed her blood alcohol content at 0.292 percent, more than three times above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. She is charged in Woodbury County with second-offense operating while intoxicated and driving while her license was revoked. She is being held in the Woodbury County Jail on a $511,500 bond. She has yet to enter a plea.

South Sioux City police used debris from Gonzalez-Diego's car in the street intersection to link her to the hit and run.

Gonzalez-Diego had been arrested in Sioux City a week earlier for second-offense operating while intoxicated and driving while her license was revoked and has pleaded not guilty. She also was convicted of operating while intoxicated in February in Woodbury County.

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