WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- A man who was charged last year with vehicular manslaughter and other counts for allegedly ramming his car into a group of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department recruits on a training run in the Whittier area, fatally injuring one of them, has been indicted on the same charges, prosecutors said, is facing new trial.
Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 23, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charges included in the new indictment. He is scheduled to appear in a Norwalk courtroom Feb. 9 for a pretrial hearing, according to the District Attorney's Office. He remains free on $500,000 bail.
Gutierrez was originally charged in November with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and nine felony counts of reckless driving causing great bodily injury stemming from the Nov. 16, 2022, crash, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He had not yet been arraigned on those charges.
The indictment unsealed Tuesday supersedes the original criminal case. The new indictment charges Gutierrez with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and nine counts of reckless driving on a highway causing a specified injury, along with a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence.
Gutierrez was initially arrested hours after the crash and booked on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer, but was released a day later, with sheriff's officials saying the complex case needed more extensive investigation.
The Diamond Bar resident was re-arrested in November by the California Highway Patrol and released on $500,000 bond within less than two hours.
The charges in the indictment carry a maximum potential state prison term of 12 years, according to District Attorney George Gascón.
The case stems from a crash that occurred around 6:30 a.m. Nov. 16, 2022, in the 10600 block of Mills Avenue, near Telegraph Road, just blocks from the sheriff's STAR Explorer Academy law enforcement training center in Whittier.
A group of about 75 law enforcement trainees were on an organized run heading north when a southbound 2018 Honda CRV swerved to the opposite side of the street and plowed into the recruits, leaving a trail of injured bodies.
The crash injured 25 recruits, sheriff's officials said at the time.
One of them, Alejandro Martinez, a 27-year-old veteran and graduate of Cal State Northridge, died July 28, 2023, at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood as a result of his injuries.
Gutierrez told reporters in 2022 that he fell asleep at the wheel.