LANCASTER (CNS) - A man pleaded not guilty today to murder and other charges stemming from a hit-and-run crash in Palmdale that killed a teenage boy and an 18-year-old.
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.
Albert Cruz, 17, and Sergio Martinez, 18, died at the scene of the Jan. 30 crash, which occurred about 10:20 p.m. near 10th Street West and Avenue O-8. Two other people were hurt, but declined to be transported to an area hospital, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Marquez was allegedly speeding away from a crash at Rancho Vista Boulevard and 10th Street West when he crashed into a vehicle carrying the fatally injured victims, then fled on foot, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's Detective Danielle Day.
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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