California woman charged with killing man over cat dispute

A California woman has been charged with killing a man by ramming him with her car after accusing him of trying to run over a cat in the street, authorities said Wednesday.

Hannah Star Esser, 20, was charged with murder in the death of Victor Anthony Luis, 43, and is being held on $1 million bond, the Orange County District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Esser was driving in the Cypress community Sunday night when he confronted Luis and accused him of trying to hit a cat, authorities said.

She and Luis got out of their vehicles and had an argument that Esser recorded, authorities said.

Esser then got back into his car, turned around, drove toward Luis and hit him, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This action showed a complete disregard for human life,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the statement.

Luis, a father of five daughters, was expecting his first grandchild this fall. He was killed outside his apartment building and “died in the arms of his only brother,” said a statement issued on behalf of his family on Wednesday.

“This senseless act of violence has robbed the world of a bright light that will never be forgotten,” the statement said, adding that his sister has set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his funeral.

Esser was arrested Sunday and had an initial court appearance Tuesday, court records show. She is scheduled to be processed on October 13. She emailed defense attorney Michael Morrison seeking comment.

Kimberly Edds, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said it wasn’t immediately clear if a cat was actually involved. The crime is still being investigated, she said.