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$50K bail set for woman in suspected DUI crash that killed young son

Updated July 14, 2020 - 1:53 pm

Bail was set at $50,000 Tuesday for a woman accused of driving under the influence in a crash that killed her 1-year-old son.

Lauren Prescia, 23, appeared before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Cynthia Cruz, who set the bail amount at the request of prosecutors. Cruz told Prescia she presents “potentially a danger to the community.”

“You are alleged to be driving a motor vehicle at an excessive rate of speed of 121 miles per hour with your infant child in the car,” Cruz said. “If you would do that with your infant child in the car, it gives the court very grave concerns as to the safety of the community.”

Prescia was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of DUI causing death, reckless driving resulting in death and allowing child abuse or neglect.

Las Vegas police said they were called to Rampart and Lake Mead boulevards around 7:20 p.m. for a vehicle crash. Police determined that Prescia was driving north on Rampart at a high rate of speed with her son, Royce Jones, in a car seat in the back passenger seat. A white 2011 Nissan Sentra turned right from westbound Lake Mead onto northbound Rampart and merged into the center lane, where it was hit by the Hyundai. Prescia’s son died at the scene.

Investigators accessed the airbag control module from Prescia’s Hyundai and determined that she was driving around 121 mph. Police spoke with Cameron Hubbard-Jones, the baby’s father, who said he also was driving on Rampart at the time of the crash to do a custody exchange with Prescia. He said he was on the phone with Prescia as they drove and she began speeding after she told him she was going to beat him home, an arrest report states.

Hubbard-Jones told police that he asked Prescia to slow down because their son was in the car, but she sped through the intersection and hit the car while trying to change lanes, the report states.

In the minutes leading up to the Tuesday hearing, Prescia hid her face from news media by leaning forward and placing her forehead against a courtroom bench in front of her. During the hearing she stood and spoke briefly to the judge, her voice cracking with emotion at times as she told Cruz she was “born and raised” in Las Vegas. She told the judge she could not afford to hire an attorney.

Ben Little of the Clark County public defender’s office was appointed to represent Prescia for the hearing. He said Prescia had no criminal history and urged the judge to release her on her own recognizance.

The judge, in addition to setting bail, ordered that she be placed on “high-level electronic monitoring” if she posts bail. Prescia, if released on bail, may only leave home for work or medical appointments, and she is not allowed to drive.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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