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High-speed chase ends in murder charge for Palmdale man

A California man is facing a charge of murder after he allegedly led authorities on a high-speed chase that ended when his car broadsided a vehicle with two occupants inside, a girl and her mother. The girl was killed in the crash and her mother received serious injuries. The 45-year-old man who was charged with murder also faces a charge of felony evading an officer causing injury.

Each of the charges is a felony; the man is facing life in prison if he is convicted. According to the charges, a detective said he observed the man's vehicle at a high rate of speed but could not pursue because he was not driving a patrol car. The detective, however, did request help and the chase was joined by members of a gang task force that were in the area.

The car was estimated to have reached 100 mph during the chase. The suspect crossed the center line and ran a red light during the pursuit. The chase ended when the car struck a sedan carrying the mother and her child. Authorities said that the nearest pursuer to the car was more than a block away at the time of the wreck.

The man who is now charged did not intend to harm bystanders when he allegedly chose to try to evade police. However, someone did die as a result of the chase, and the prosecutors have elected to charge the man with murder. If he decides to go to trial, rather than plead guilty, he will likely rely on the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney who will argue on his behalf.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Driver faces murder charges after chase that killed 2-year-old," Kate Mather and Ashley Powers, Dec. 10, 2012

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