LANCASTER – A man pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and other charges stemming from a Jan. 30 hit-and-run crash in Palmdale that killed two teenagers.
William Alexander Marquez, now 35, was charged Feb. 25 with two felony counts each of murder, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person, along with one misdemeanor count of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage.
The fatal crash happened around 10:20 p.m. on Jan. 30 near 10th Street West and Avenue O-8. Marquez was allegedly speeding away from a crash at Rancho Vista Boulevard and 10th Street West when he crashed into a vehicle carrying the two teenagers, then fled on foot, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Danielle Day.
Albert Cruz, 17, and Sergio Martinez, 18, died at the scene.
Marquez — who had publicly been named as the suspect — surrendered Feb. 5, according to the detective, who said the victims were “great kids, and it shows in how many people wanted to help” by sending in tips to help detectives identify and locate the driver.
Marquez was initially released on $50,000 bond the day of his arrest. He was subsequently taken into custody again March 10 in lieu of $2 million bail after the charges were filed, and he has remained behind bars since then.
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