LANCASTER – A 21-year-old man was convicted Monday of second-degree murder for a crash that killed three people at a Lancaster intersection just over two years ago.
Jurors deliberated about two hours before finding Davion Murphy guilty of three counts of second-degree murder stemming from the Jan. 11, 2018, collision at the corner of Avenue J-8 and Challenger Way, according to Deputy District Attorney Casey Higgins.
Yovany Salazar Calzada, 23, Rocio Perez Lopez, 26, and Calzada’s grandmother, Virginia Martinez, 61, were inside a Subaru WRX that was struck by a silver Lexus being driven by Murphy. All three died at the scene of the crash, according to the deputy district attorney, who prosecuted the case with colleague Yoobin Hernandez.
The prosecution argued that evidence, including a blood test subsequently done on Murphy, showed that he was driving under the influence of marijuana, and witnesses reported seeing him smoking marijuana about 30 to 45 minutes before the crash.
Murphy — who had three passengers in his car that survived the collision — went through a red light and struck the driver’s side of the Subaru containing the three victims, Higgins said.
Authorities used the black box from the car containing the victims to determine that Murphy had been driving at least 88 mph in a 40 mph zone at the time of the crash, the prosecutor said.
Murphy has remained jailed since his arrest in November 2018 by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Murphy is facing a minimum of 15 years to life and a maximum of 45 years to life in state prison, with sentencing set April 22 in a Lancaster courtroom, Higgins said.
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