fbpx Mission Viejo Archives - Hey SoCal. Change is our intention.
The Votes Are In!
2023 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
View Winners →
Vote for your favorite business!
2024 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
Start voting →
Subscribeto our newsletter to stay informed
  • Enter your phone number to be notified if you win
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Home / Mission Viejo

Trial begins for man charged in fatal Mission Viejo crash

A 28-year-old man who had been repeatedly warned about the dangers of speeding was going nearly 100 mph when he plowed into another car, killing the driver, in Mission Viejo five years ago, a prosecutor told jurors Monday as the defendant’s attorney said his client was rushing his girlfriend home to help her with a personal problem.

Afiff Kevin Doaifi is charged with second-degree murder in the March 25, 2017, death of 33-year-old Judith Noval.

“The question in this trial is how many times did the defendant have to be warned about his driving,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Feldman said. “Whatever it was, it wasn’t enough.”

The event-data recorder in the defendant’s Camaro showed he was going 99 mph just two-and-a-half seconds before he collided with Noval’s Hyundai at Alicia Parkway and Althea Avenue, Feldman said.

Doaifi was caught speeding 109 mph on the San Diego (5) Freeway in Mission Viejo in October of 2014, Feldman said. The defendant fought the ticket and was convicted, the prosecutor said.

Feldman played a recording from a trial in which the defendant acknowledged the dangers of speeding and his judge asking what would it take for him to slow down. The defendant said his conviction was “a pretty big wakeup call,” according to Feldman.

In January 2016 he was caught driving 63 mph in a 45 mph zone and had to go to traffic school, Feldman said. At one point his license was suspended for having too many points on his record, the prosecutor said.

Doaifi’s Camaro had a “supercharged V-8 engine” with no catalytic converter and racing tires, Feldman said.

Witnesses said before the crash he was seen speeding on the 5 Freeway, Feldman said.

He slammed into Noval’s car as she was turning left onto Althea, Feldman said.

One witness who followed him off the freeway said Doaifi approached him at the crash scene and claimed he was going 55 mph, which the witness “thought was laughable,” Feldman said.

The prosecutor also played a 911 recording the defendant made from the crash scene in which he lamented, “my car, my car,” while cursing about the other driver.

“His concern is about his car,” Feldman said. “Ms. Noval is dying and he’s concerned about his car.”

Noval “didn’t die right away — she fought for a month” before she was pronounced dead, Feldman said.

Doaifi slammed on the brakes a second before the collision “when it was already too late,” Feldman said.

An expert is expected to testify that had he been going the speed limit he would have been able to avoid the crash, Feldman said.

“It was the defendant’s choice to drive at that speed that led to her death,” Feldman said.

Doaifi’s attorney, Ed Welbourn, told the jurors, “Make no mistake, this is a tragic case, very tragic for everyone involved.”

There are no allegations of driving distracted or under the influence, Welbourn said.

“The government’s case is predicated on speed only,” Welbourn said.

Doaifi, who grew up in Mission Viejo, had just turned 23 at the time of the crash, Welbourn said. He still lives with his parents and was working for the family cleaning business and taking classes at Saddleback College, Welbourn said.

Doaifi and his girlfriend, Tala, met two other friends that evening at the Irvine Spectrum for dinner and a movie, Welbourn said.

Before they got there, she confessed to her boyfriend for the first time that she was struggling with an eating disorder and hadn’t eaten in three days, Welbourn said.

“He’s never been confronted with anything like this before,” Welbourn said.

The two did not eat dinner and were quiet through the movie, Welbourn said.

On the way home he kept at his girlfriend to grab something to eat until she finally agreed to have a peanut butter sandwich at his home with “special bread” his mother always has on hand, Welbourn said.

“He’s ecstatic,” Welbourn said. “In his mind he’s trying to save her… He was speeding, yes. But there’s no argument in the car, no fighting. He was trying to get her home as quickly as possible, not trying to endanger anyone.”

Doaifi attempted to veer right to avoid the collision, but the Camaro – – “his pride and joy that he got when he was 17 years old” — flipped over and landed upside down, Welbourn said. He broke his wrist, but he was able to get out with his girlfriend, the attorney said.

“You an tell he’s in shock, he’s panicked, and doesn’t understand the gravity of what happened,” Welbourn said of the 911 call. He mistakenly also believed the driver had fled since Noval had slid over to the passenger seat in the crash, Welbourn said.

The defense attorney plans to call character witnesses such as a pastor, a teacher and his sister to testify that Doaifi is a “defender” with a “huge heart,” he said.

“At the end of the evidence in this trial you will conclude this is a tragic accident, but also that Kevin is not guilty of murder,” Welbourn said.

Skip to content