LANCASTER – A Palmdale man pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and other charges stemming from a June 19 crash that killed a 2-year-old girl and two women just outside Lancaster, near Edwards Air Force Base.
Eric Deshawn Johnson, 38, is charged with three counts of murder and one count of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, along with a misdemeanor count of driving when his driving privilege was revoked or suspended.
The charges stem from the deaths of 2-year-old Anaya Clayton, and Michelle Maxie, 36, both of Arizona, and Maisha Garrett, 37, of Paramount, who were passengers in Johnson’s Ford Explorer when it crashed into a Honda Accord near Avenue D and the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway.
The Accord’s driver was injured in the crash, but survived, said Deputy District Attorney Sun Chung.
Johnson was arrested the same day by California Highway Patrol and has remained in jail since then.
He is due back in a Lancaster courtroom Jan. 18 for a hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial.
Johnson could face up to 45 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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