20-Year-Old Woman Accused of Running Over Man She Believed Tried to Run Over Cat: Police

DA says she started recording a man on the street, accusing him of trying to drive over a cat — she is now charged with his murder

A 20-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of a man she believed had attempted to harm a cat, according to authorities in Southern California.

Luis Anthony Victor, 43, died as a result of being run over in the city of Cypress on Sunday, the Orange County District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Hannah Star Esser has been charged with one felony count of murder and is being held on a $1 million bond, per the DA. If convicted she faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.

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Authorities say on Sunday evening Esser was driving in Cypress when she stopped to confront the victim who she believed was trying to run over a cat in the street.

The DA says she got out of her vehicle and started recording; A confrontation ensued that they say included profanity and accusations that the man, who they later identified as Victor, was attempting to drive over a cat. The victim exited his vehicle to confront Esser in the street, court docs say.

She then got back into her car, the DA says, while continuing to argue with the victim before driving away.

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“Instead of continuing to drive away from Victor and out of the area, Esser made a 3-point turn and drove back towards Victor in the direction of a cul-de-sac,” according to the DA’s press release. “Esser then made a U-turn, accelerated and drove directly at Victor.  Esser is accused of intentionally driving into Victor, striking him with the right front of her car.”

“Victor was launched up onto the hood and windshield and flipped several times before he landed in the street. Victor was pronounced dead at the scene,” the statement read.

“This action showed a complete disregard for human life,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will ensure that this random act of violence targeting a stranger will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Esser’s arraignment is scheduled for October 13, 2022.

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