A Burbank man charged with two counts of murder is expected to have his preliminary hearing Feb. 13, according to a deputy district attorney prosecuting a man charged for allegedly driving drunk in a fatal, early morning crash on Highway 14.
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Bradford E. Pate, 38, of Burbank, is being charged with killing the Rev. Manard Giles, and Mattie Lee Ferguson in a wrong-way crash.
“He wasn’t present in court today, but we selected a preliminary hearing date,” said Mykka Piantanida of the District Attorney’s Office.
At a preliminary hearing, the prosecution will present its case and a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to merit a trial.
Both sides have already undertaken a lengthy “discovery” process, in which evidence is shared between both sides, Piantanida said.
Detectives believe a truck driven by Pate was driving the wrong way on the freeway when it struck a car driven by Giles in which Lee was a passenger. There were also several others who sustained injuries of varying degrees in subsequent crashes.
Pate, who’s in custody, missed his court date Wednesday due to a doctor’s appointment, so he must appear Dec. 26 in order to waive the standard time.
A preliminary hearing generally takes place within 15 days of the setting, unless a defendant “waives time.”
Pate missed court dates early on due to injuries he sustained in the June 22 crash.
Pate is facing two murder charges, a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, a DUI causing injury and the charge of a DUI with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08 percent causing injury.
Pate allegedly drove a 2006 Toyota Tundra south into the northbound lanes of Highway 14, near Escondido Canyon Road, at 3:28 a.m. Saturday, when he collided with a 2006 Chrysler 300, which swerved and struck a rideshare van, according to a CHP report.
If convicted, Pate faces up to life in prison.
Pate already was convicted of DUI in 2007 in Ventura County.
He’s being held in lieu of $3 million bail at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.
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Source: Santa Clarita News