Jury finds Des Moines man guilty in drag-racing death

Published 6/1/2023 1:52:47 PM

A Des Moines man was found guilty of vehicular homicide and other charges related to a drag-racing crash that killed a 4-year-old boy in December 2022.  

The jury found Robert Lee Miller III guilty of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, vehicular homicide by reckless driving, and vehicular homicide by drag racing related to the death of Marcos Faguada, as well as serious injury by vehicle while operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and serious injury by vehicle by reckless driving related to the serious injuries to Mayra De Catalan.  

Des Moines police were called to Fleur Drive near Gray’s Lake at 6 pm on Dec. 13, 2022. Miller was speeding at speeds up to 114 mph and drag racing another vehicle when he crossed the median and struck a vehicle driven by Marya De Catalan. Her son Thiago and her nephew, Marcos Faguada, were passengers in the vehicle. All three were taken to the hospital, and Marcos, age 4, succumbed to his injuries.  

Miller’s co-defendant, Keith Eric Jones, also faces vehicular homicide and other charges in the case. His trial is June 26. 

Miller will be sentenced July 14. In Iowa, a charge of vehicular homicide by operating while intoxicated carries a mandatory prison sentence for an indeterminate period not to exceed 25 years. The other charges could give Miller more prison time.  

The prosecuting attorney on the case was Jaki Livingston with assistance from Legal Assistant Chelsey Wilson. The case was investigated by Officer Bryan Wickett and other officers from the Des Moines Police Department.