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DUI suspect in wreck that killed 2 Las Vegas teens denied bail

Updated August 10, 2020 - 5:15 pm

The driver of an SUV accused of fatally striking two 16-year-old Las Vegas girls was ordered held without bail on Monday.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Cynthia Cruz called Ebone Whitaker, 38, “an extreme risk to the community.”

Whitaker, a 15-year Las Vegas resident, admitted to police that she had taken drugs and alcohol before she lost control of her Mercedes-Benz on Aug. 3, authorities have said. She is charged with DUI resulting in death, reckless driving, failure to maintain a lane and failure to decrease speed, court records show.

Citlali Mora and Nelly Amaya-Ramirez died after they were struck in a crosswalk at the intersection of Maryland Parkway and Katie Avenue.

The girls, Del Sol High School students, had been best friends since middle school, according to their friend Leon Amado Pineda.

Whitaker told police she is a daily user of heroin and had consumed two beers and smoked marijuana before getting behind the wheel to drive home from a friend’s house, according to an arrest report.

Earlier in the day, she added, she and her friends also had smoked a PCP-covered cigarette, according to the report.

Prosecutor Eric Bauman said Whitaker had methamphetamine, PCP, cocaine, and marijuana in her system when she was arrested, which the judge referenced in setting bail.

“Based on what the state’s telling me, I think the question is what were you not on while you were driving a car,” Cruz said.

Court records show that Whitaker has faced drug-related charges in Las Vegas dating to 2007 and pleaded guilty to a charge of malicious injury to a vehicle after she admitted to kicking out a police car window in 2004.

Cruz said Whitaker had 41 previous misdemeanor charges.

Deputy public defender Ben Little told the judge that Whitaker is a mother of five.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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