Man Charged with Murder in Death of Mt. SAC Tram Driver

teenager under arrest

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POMONA (CNS) - A 38-year-old man accused of intentionally running down and possibly stabbing a Mt. San Antonio College employee at the Walnut campus was charged Monday with murder.

The murder charge against James Edward Milliken Jr. includes an allegation that he used deadly weapons in the attack -- a knife and a vehicle.

Milliken, who remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail, is expected to be arraigned sometime this week in Pomona. An exact date for the hearing was not immediately available.

Milliken, a former employee of the college, is accused of running down 63-year-old Rafael Barragan Jr. at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday in the 1100 block of North Grand Avenue, according to the sheriff's department. According to the coroner's office, however, Barragan died of "multiple injuries," described as "sharp and blunt force."

Barragan was a tram driver for disabled students at the campus.

Sheriff's officials last week said Milliken appeared to have intentionally struck Barragan, who was known on campus as Ralph. Milliken was taken to a hospital after the crash with minor injuries and subsequently arrested.

On Friday, Bill Scroggins, president & CEO of the college, issued a statement to the "Mt. SAC Family" saying, "It is with deep sorrow that I share with the Mt. San Antonio College community that we have lost one of our campus' shining lights: Ralph Barragan.

"Ralph died Thursday morning after being struck by a car outside of Building 9A. Los Angeles County Sheriffs are investigating the incident, including the possibility it was an intentional act.

"We will provide updates as more information is available. This is as tragic a situation as we can imagine on our campus. Our hearts and sincere condolences go out to Ralph's family and countless friends.

"Ralph was 63 years old. He began working as a tram driver for ACCESS -- disabled students program -- in July 2007. He joined us after a 23-year career as a bus driver for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He was responsible for transporting students with disabilities to all parts of the college. Ralph was highly visible on campus, gracious, popular, and respected."

Counseling and support services were offered to all members of the college community, Scroggins said.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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