Due to the complex nature of the case, it’s unlikely a trial would start until next year, according to a deputy district attorney prosecuting a man charge with two deaths while allegedly driving drunk on Highway 14.
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Bradford Pate, 38, a Burbank man accused of driving the wrong way in a Highway 14 crash that killed two people, is due be back in Dec. 18, said Mykka Piantanida of the District Attorney’s Office.
“We did the setting hearing (Thursday), we actually continued it for one last preliminary hearing setting Dec. 18,” she said. “It’s a scheduling date.”
The case involves multiple allegations of murder against Pate, and “an extensive discovery process,” Piantanida said.
Pate is entitled to have a preliminary hearing date within 10 days of that date in December, but he may waive time, as he has done in the past, which likely would create a date for his preliminary hearing sometime in January.
At a preliminary hearing, a judge reviews the evidence regarding the case and decides whether a trial is warranted.
Pate missed a pair of early hearings due to injuries he sustained in the crash, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the county’s District Attorney’s Office.
Pate allegedly drove a 2006 Toyota Tundra south in northbound lanes, near Escondido Canyon Road, at 3:28 a.m. in June when he collided with a 2006 Chrysler 300, which swerved and struck a rideshare van.
The Rev. Manard Giles, a 77-year-old Quartz Hill minister, who drove a 2006 Chrysler 300 died on scene at the June 22 crash that Pate is accused of causing.
Mattie Lee Ferguson, a 60-year-old Lancaster woman who was a passenger in Giles’s car, succumbed to her injuries, which she sustained in the same crash, at Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills.
Several other drivers sustained minor to major injuries in the crash.
Lennard A. Wilds, 47, of Lancaster, another passenger in Giles’s vehicle, was trapped in the car until rescuers could later free him. He sustained critical injuries, and was airlifted to Henry Mayo.
Juan M. Zamora, 43, of Lancaster, drove the rideshare van, a 2013 Ford Econoline Minor. Zamora was transporting nine passengers to an aerospace work site in Palmdale, likely Plant 42.
Two passengers in the van sustained minor injuries. Efren Arrieta, 27, of Lancaster, and Patrick W. Glesby, 42, of Quartz Hill, was wounded with a cut to left arm.
Pate is currently being held in Men’s Central Jail in lieu of $3 million bail.
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Source: Santa Clarita News