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Manslaughter suspect Bonilla moving toward trial

Denton County prosecutors appear to be gearing up for Luis Bonilla's jury trial, which has been rescheduled to Oct. 30 in Judge Jonathan Bailey's 431st Judicial District Court.

Luis BonillaCourtesy photo
Luis Bonilla
Courtesy photo

Bonilla, 37, is accused of starting a multi-car accident on Feb. 6, 2016, while driving his Ford F-350 on East University Drive near Mayhill Road. According to a Denton police arrest affidavit, he struck a Nissan minivan while traveling between 65 and 70 mph, resulting in the death of 8-year-old Edgar De Luna and 11-year-old Lesly De Luna, both from Whitesboro. Another minivan passenger, a 4-year-old boy, was severely injured in the wreck.

Bonilla is facing two counts of manslaughter and a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

His trial was originally scheduled for Aug. 21. Ahead of the new trial date, dozens of subpoenas have been issued to Denton police officers, firefighters and medical experts in the last week. First Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck did not respond to a request for comment. 

Denton police say they believe Bonilla was making a phone call before the crash. His lawyer, Derek Adame, also could not be reached for comment, but he told the Denton Record-Chronicle in June that the crash was an accident. 

"Mr. Bonilla was involved in a terrible accident, and we believe that the evidence will bear that out," Adame said at the time. 

During the crash, the force of the impact caused the minivan to strike a nearby Dodge Dakota pickup, which then struck a Kia passenger car. After striking the minivan, Bonilla's truck veered across East University Drive, struck a concrete light pole and stopped in the nearby RaceTrac parking lot, his arrest affidavit said. No one in the Dakota or Kia was injured.

Bonilla was indicted on two counts of manslaughter on Sept. 29, 2016, and was eventually arrested on the charges May 11. He was released from Denton City Jail the same day after posting $25,000 bail for each of the two charges.

JULIAN GILL can be reached at 940-566-6882.