DA: Cali woman thought man tried to hit cat, killed him with car

Hannah Star Esser.
Hannah Star Esser. Photo credit Orange County District Attorney

A woman was driving down the 9700 block of Cypress Street in Santa Ana, Calif., at approximately 8:23 p.m. Sunday when she thought she saw a man trying to run over a cat with a vehicle.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the woman – 20-year-old Hannah Star Esser – got out of her own car and recorded her profanity-laden confrontation with the man, identified as 43-year-old Luis Anthony Victor. She is accused of then intentionally driving into him and causing his death.

Both Esser and Victor were outside of their cars when she confronted him with her accusations that he tried to run over a cat, said the district attorney’s office. As she got back into her vehicle, she continued to argue with Victor.

“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 district attorney’s office. “Esser then made a U-turn, accelerated and drove directly at Victor.”

She allegedly struck him with the front of her car, causing him to be launched up on to the hood and windshield. He “flipped several times before he landed in the street,” and was pronounced dead at the scene, per the district attorney’s office.

“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.”

Senior Deputy District Attorney Dave Porter of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case, said authorities.

Esser was charged with one felony count of murder and she faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life if convicted. She is scheduled to be arraigned on October 13 at the Stephen K. Tamura Justice Center in Westminster, Calif.

As of Thursday, Esser was being held on $1 million bail.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Orange County District Attorney