LANCASTER – A 37-year-old Palmdale man has been charged with multiple counts of murder in connection with a traffic collision in Lancaster that claimed the lives of two women and a 2-year-old girl, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Eric Deshawn Johnson faces three counts of murder and one count of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury with a great bodily injury allegation, according to Deputy District Attorney Sun Chung.
Johnson is also charged with a misdemeanor count of driving when privilege suspended or revoked, Chung said.
Victims Michelle Maxie, 36, and Anaya Clayton, 2, both of Arizona, and Maisha Garrett, 37, of Paramount, all were passengers in the Johnson’s Ford Escape when it collided with a Honda Accord on June 19 near Avenue D and the Antelope Valley Freeway, the prosecutor said.
Johnson was driving westbound on Avenue D when he made a left turn directly into the path of the eastbound Honda Accord, resulting in a broadside traffic collision, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
Johnson, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and was hospitalized with major injuries, the CHP reported. Maxie and Garrett died at the scene, and 2-year-old Clayton was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to the CHP.
The driver of the Accord, 61-year-old Cheryl A. Harris of Lancaster, was injured in the crash but survived.
The criminal case against Johnson was filed July 1. He was scheduled to be arraigned Friday, July 8, in Department A01 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch.
Bail is set at $6.18 million, according to the District Attorney’s office.
If convicted as charged, Johnson faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison.
The case remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Lancaster Station.
UPDATE: Johnson’s arraignment was postponed to Monday, July 11.
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