A woman went out for drinks with co-workers in Kearny Mesa and ignored their warnings about driving drunk, killing a colleague who tried to prevent her from leaving and was run over, a prosecutor said Thursday, while a defense attorney maintained that her client wasn’t guilty of murder because she had no idea the victim had grabbed onto her car.

Latisha Ingram, 33, is charged with second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run causing death and drunken driving in the June 27, 2019, death of 25-year-old Ha Minh Ta, who worked with the defendant at a Bank of America branch in Clairemont.

According to Deputy District Attorney Phillippa Cunningham, Ingram and Ta met up with two other co-workers for after-dinner drinks and the defendant decided to try to drive home about 11:30 p.m. despite them “pleading with her, begging her not to drive.”

Ta and fellow co-worker Gabriela Rojo spent about 20 minutes trying to dissuade her from getting behind the wheel, according to Rojo, who testified through tears that she urged Ingram to call Lyft or a similar ridesharing service.

Surveillance footage shown to the jury showed Ta and Rojo hugging Ingram and trying to pull her away from her car. At one point, Ta appeared to take Ingram’s purse away from her.

Rojo testified that Ingram told her co-workers, “Leave me the (expletive) alone!”

As Ingram drove out of the parking lot and turned southbound onto Convoy Street, Ta was holding onto her car and fell into the street. He was run over by the back tires, and the defendant continued driving down Convoy Street, Cunningham said.

Paramedics rushed Ta to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Ingram was arrested a short time later.

According to prosecutors, her blood-alcohol was measured at .18%t, more than twice the legal limit. She’s charged with murder because she has a 2010 DUI conviction in Orange County.

In her opening statement, Defense attorney Monique Carter said Ingram was not aware Ta was holding onto her car door and thus did not have the conscious disregard for human life necessary for a second-degree murder conviction. Carter said the entire incident happened in a matter of seconds, so quick that Ingram did not even realize Ta had grabbed onto her car or had been run over.

Carter conceded that Ingram exercised bad judgment that night, but said she was guilty at most of vehicular manslaughter.

— City News Service