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Teen faces seven felony charges for fatal April crash

Reported by: Sergio Avila
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Updated: 5/15/2013 10:14 pm
MOAPA VALLEY, Nev. -- The 18-year-old charged with causing a deadly crash that killed five people near mesquite faced a preliminary hearing today.

Jean Soriano is charged with seven felonies for that crash in April.

News 3's Sergio Avila is back from Moapa with more on how the defense is trying to poke holes in the prosecution's case.

Police investigators say it was Soriano who was driving that car before the deadly crash. Soriano's defense attorneys are casting doubt as to who was really behind the wheel.

Soriano sat hunched over and trying to hide from our cameras as he waited for his preliminary hearing to get started.

He's facing seven felony DUI counts after an April crash killed five out of seven people inside an SUV.

The crash happened in between Moapa and Mesquite.

Maria Cardenas and her son survived. After the crash, Cardenas was trapped. She panicked when she heard someone say people had died.

There was emotional testimony from a mother still recovering.

Soriano's attorney Warren Geller focused on who was driving. There were two people in Soriano's car when it crashed.

Testimony by Trooper James Pazos showed Soriano admitted to driving at the hospital.

“I asked him what happened and he stated he was driving and that there was a car in front of him and he tried to swerve but couldn't swerve in time and he struck the other vehicle,” NHP Trooper Pazos said.

Pazos said Soriano smelled of alcohol and his eyes were blood shot. Blood tests revealed he was well over the legal limit.

Soriano's defense is now calling that blood evidence in to question and could try to get it barred if there's a trial.

In the end the preliminary hearing was cut short, both the prosecution and defense asked the judge for more time so they can present evidence that's still pending.

What that evidence is remains unknown but a court clerk told us it could be integral to the case.

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