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Burbank man pleads not guilty to 2 murders in Highway 14 wrong-way crash

Posted: August 8, 2013 6:33 p.m.
Updated: August 8, 2013 6:33 p.m.

A Burbank man charged with two counts of murder in the wrong-way crash that killed two people last month hobbled into court on crutches Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the charges, a Los Angeles County District Attorney prosecutor said.

Bradford Pate, 38, of Burbank, who remained in Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for more than two weeks after the crash, was arraigned in San Fernando Superior Court on two counts of murder, said Deputy District Attorney Mykka Pantanida.

Pate faces murder and additional charges for allegedly slamming his pickup truck into oncoming traffic while traveling southbound in the Highway 14 northbound lanes during the pre-dawn hours of June 22.

Pate entered the northbound lanes of Highway 14 by way of the off-ramp at Escondido Canyon Road, California Highway Patrol Officer Benjamin Ibarra said in a news release issued shortly after the crash.

His Toyota Tundra collided head-on with a 2006 Chrysler just south of Escondido Canyon Road, Ibarra said in his report. Quartz Hill Rev. Manard Giles, 77, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in the Giles car, Mattie Lee Ferguson, 60, of Lancaster, died of her injuries two days after the crash at Henry Mayo.

Prosecutors were forced to wait until Pate was released from the hospital to arraign him on the charges.

Pate, now on crutches, remains in custody at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles on $3 million bail.

A fourth man was seriously injured in the crash and two weeks later was still listed in stable condition, hospital spokeswoman Katreena Salgado.

Pate is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 25.

If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.




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