Second-Degree Murder Conviction in Fatal DUI Case of Irvine Family

Irvine, California – A twice-convicted drunk driver in Irvine, California, pleaded guilty to causing a fatal collision that took the life of a 44-year-old woman and injured her husband and two teenage children. Kamal Akwette Attoh, 42, of Irvine, admitted guilt to second-degree murder and is expected to receive a sentence of 15 years to life in prison on April 8. Attoh faced a murder charge due to his previous convictions for drunk driving, one in November 2000 in Orange County and the other in March 2002 in Ventura County. The collision occurred on May 16, 2018, at the intersection of Ridgeline and Turtle Rock drives, where Attoh’s vehicle struck the family as they were walking home from a nearby park.

Jeongmi Choi was killed in the accident, and her 49-year-old husband suffered a ruptured spleen, leaving him in critical condition. The couple’s 15-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son were also injured and hospitalized. Attoh’s 2012 BMW X5 veered off the road and hit a tree after colliding with the family. Attoh’s defense attorney, Jeff Kent, stated that his client wanted to take responsibility for his actions and avoid putting the family through a trial.

During the preliminary hearing, Attoh told police that he had been driving home from his girlfriend’s house and initially claimed to have had four beers and taken Xanax. However, he later admitted to consuming vodka and martinis. These details were revealed by police testimony. The tragic incident has left the family devastated and caused irreparable harm, leading to significant legal consequences for Attoh.