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RIVERSIDE, CA- An Indian American man who was arrested and charged with chasing down and killing three teenagers in Southern California in early 2020, must stand trial on three counts of murder and other charges, a judge ruled Jan. 19, according to City News Service.
Anurag Chandra, 43, was arrested in February 2020 on murder and attempted murder charges He pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles Koosed, reported “found there was sufficient evidence in a preliminary hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice to warrant a trial on the murder counts, as well as three counts of attempted murder.”
He has scheduled post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Chandra, who remains in custody without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
Chandra allegedly killed Daniel Hawkins, 16, of Corona; Jacob Ivascu, 16, of Riverside; and Drake Ruiz, 16, of Corona. A 13-year-old boy, 14-year-old boy and 18-year-old, who was at the wheel of the car that was struck, suffered moderate to major injuries.
According to family members, they were playing a game of “Ding Dong Ditch” in a Temescal Valley neighborhood south of Corona.
They rang the doorbell and ran away before it was answered at what they thought was a friend’s house, reports said. Instead, it was the home of Chandra. Shortly after 10 p.m., one of the five boys got out of the Toyota Prius, went to Chandra’s residence and rang the bell several times before running back to the car, investigators said.
According to a District Attorney’s Office statement, Chandra “chased after the Prius in his 2019 Infinity Q50,” the City News Service report added.
CHP Officer Juan Quintero alleged that the defendant bore down on the teens’ vehicle at high speed on Temescal Canyon Road and rammed the car, causing it to spin out of control and slam into a tree, the report said.
Family members told reporters that the boys were fleeing out of fear and were trying to avoid Chandra at the time, according to the report. Witnesses followed Chandra back to his residence and alerted CHP officers, who arrested him roughly four hours after the collision, it said.
As per report, Chandra also has an unresolved misdemeanor case for alleged battery on a cohabitant and child endangerment on his record.