Two charged with murder in OKC collision that killed mother, child
A murder defendant claimed a passenger in his vehicle coerced him at gunpoint to flee from police, leading to a collision that killed a mother and child.
Andrew Joseph Munoz, 27, told Oklahoma City police that Deanna L. Alvarez, 35, pulled a gun on him while officers attempted to stop his vehicle April 19, according to a court affidavit. He said Alvarez warned him if he stopped for police, “he would be dead.”
Driving a stolen pickup, Munoz slowed and began to pull over before speeding away from officers, police reported. He drove through traffic at SW 44 and Villa Avenue and collided with a 2013 Nissan Murano carrying two parents and a young girl.
The collision killed Rylee Ewald, 8, and her mother, Tonya Horn, 43, of Yukon. Eric Ewald was pinned underneath the Nissan and was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
Horn, a mother of two, worked in medical billing. Ewald was in second grade at Ranchwood Elementary in Yukon.
Munoz and Alvarez, of Oklahoma City, were charged Monday with first-degree murder, drug trafficking, illegal possession of firearms and possession of drug proceeds. Munoz is also facing charges of causing an accident while driving without a valid license and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Munoz has pleaded guilty twice before to eluding a police officer and has convictions of unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
After the wreck, officers found Munoz near 35 grams of methamphetamine, $87 in cash and a loaded gun, police said. Alvarez had $4,000 in cash, methamphetamine and a gun in her purse.
Investigators believe Munoz and Alvarez were trafficking illegal drugs when they attempted to elude police, according to the affidavit.
“Munoz stated Deanna Alvarez is a high-ranking cartel member here in Oklahoma City,” police reported. “He stated he felt the threat was real and thought he would die if he pulled over.”
In an interview with investigators, Munoz said he had been working for Alvarez for a while, and she distributes large amounts of methamphetamine in Oklahoma City, according to a search warrant.
The defendant said he was in Alvarez’s house, in the 3000 block of SW 60, the day of the collision and saw four AR-15 rifles, two shotguns and several handguns in her bedroom, police reported. He also reportedly observed a large amount of cash and about 5 kilograms of methamphetamine in the same room.
Munoz said Alvarez’s sons are gang members and would move the guns, drugs and money out of the house after her arrest, according to the affidavit. Officers set up surveillance of the house and saw two subjects pull up to the home and carry bags inside.
“The subjects were observed going back and forth into the house as though they were possibly packing or preparing to move items,” officers reported.
Investigators later searched the house and found digital scales, a pistol, rifle magazines, several bullets, vacuum seal baggies, a ledger and 27.5 grams of a brown leafy substance in a vacuum-sealed bag, according to a search warrant.
Court records show Alvarez’s criminal history in Oklahoma only involves misdemeanor counts of refusing and neglecting to cause a child to attend school.