The Turlock mother accused of causing her 6-year-old daughter’s death in a drunken driving collision has entered a not guilty plea to the charges against her and is out of custody on bail.
Angelica Castellanos-Davila is facing charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and willful cruelty to a child resulting in injury and/or death for the death of her daughter, Elliana Alicia Davila. Castellanos-Davila entered the not guilty plea Thursday afternoon in a courtroom filled with family and friends to offer her support.
Castellanos-Davila was taken into custody early Sunday morning following the deadly collision. Her bail was set at $100,000. As part of the conditions for her remaining free on bail, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Ruben Villalobos ordered that she abstain from drinking any alcohol, stay out of any business that has a primary function of serving alcohol, and submit herself, vehicle and residence to search at any given time.
Castellanos-Davila was returning to Turlock around 4:30 a.m. Sunday from a visit in Tuolumne County when the crash occurred. According to the California Highway Patrol, Castellanos-Davila was driving southbound on Albers Road when she lost control of her car went off the road and struck a power pole.
Elliana was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene. CHP investigators said that she was in a car seat that had either been unbuckled or improperly secured.
Castellanos-Davila was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto with non-life threatening injuries. Upon her release, she was arrested and booked into Stanislaus County Jail. Castellanos-Davila’s blood alcohol level has not been released. She is due in court March 7 for a pretrial hearing.
Elliana was a kindergartener at Denair Elementary Charter Academy, where she was remembered for her sunny personality.
“She was just an absolute doll, such a sweet, sweet little girl that we’re just devastated to lose,” said DECA Principal Sara Michelena. “Her teacher is absolutely devastated and the class is too. It’s just sad—there’s really no other word for it.”
Elliana loved to draw, sing, play with make up and take pictures with her parents, according to her family.
A rosary for family and friends will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 20, at Allen Mortuary. No public viewing will be held. A mass for family and friends will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 21, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with interment immediately following at Lakewood Memorial Park.