LANCASTER – Prosecutors have filed murder charges against a 20-year-old man suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, speeding through a red light and causing a crash in Lancaster that killed three people.
Former Lancaster resident Davion Demetrious Murphy is charged with three counts of murder and one count of driving under the influence while causing injury in connection with the Jan. 11 traffic crash that killed 61-year-old Virginia Martinez, 23-year-old Yovany Yosair Salazar Calzada and his wife, Rocio, all Lancaster residents.
The collision happened around 12 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, on East Avenue J-8 at 10th Street East, also known as Challenger Way.
Witnesses told detectives a silver 4-door sedan traveling east on Avenue J-8 failed to stop at a red light and collided with a blue 4-door sedan traveling north on Challenger Way, according to Detective Matthew Davis of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station. All three occupants in the blue sedan were pronounced dead at the scene.
The four men in the silver sedan sustained survivable injuries and were transported to a hospital to be treated.
Murphy was later identified as the driver of the silver sedan “from DNA, which was collected from inside the vehicle,” Detective Davis said in a news release. “Traffic investigators from Lancaster Station have determined that the suspected driver caused the collision by traveling at a high rate of speed, while also being under the influence of marijuana.”
“A warrant for the arrest of [Murphy] was issued and [Murphy] was subsequently arrested by the Phoenix Police Department regarding the arrest warrant,” Davis said in the news release.
An extradition arrest warrant for Murphy was filed Sept. 12, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office; and Murphy was booked at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station on Nov. 7, LASD inmate records show.
Murphy was to be arraigned on the triple murder charges on Thursday, Nov. 8, but the arraignment was postponed until Nov. 28, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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