HURST -- A Fort Worth man, convicted three times of drunken driving, was indicted Thursday on a charge of murder, accused of driving drunk and killing a 4-year-old Haltom City girl in a March traffic wreck.
Marcial J. Ortega remained in the Tarrant County Jail Friday with bail set at $100,000.
"We are pursing murder because his criminal history allows us to pursue that charge," Tarrant County Assistant District Richard Alpert said Friday.
According to Tarrant County criminal court records, Ortgea has two misdemeanor DWI convictions in 1999 and one felony DWI conviction in 2002, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison.
Under the Texas Penal Code, a defendant can be charged with murder, if while committing a felony, he performs an act "clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual."
Investigators say they believe Ortega was driving a Chevrolet truck that hit Octavio Sanchez's Ford station wagon about 9 p.m. on March 14 in the 100 block of Loop 820 in Hurst near the Airport Freeway merge and took the life of Sanchez's daughter.
Four-year-old Kaitlyn Sanchez was sitting alongside her mother and 10-year-old sister, her father has said in a previous interview. Kaitlyn was riding in a booster seat and secured by a seat belt in the back of the station wagon, police said.
Kaitlyn was pronounced dead at a Fort Worth hospital about an hour later.
No one else was hospitalized, but Kaitlyn's 10-year-old sister suffered minor elbow injuries, her father said. A Tarrant County grand jury also indicted Ortega on a charge of DWI felony repetition.