Witnesses damage defense in deadly crash case
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two new witnesses could damage the defense for a man accused of vehicular manslaughter in the deaths of two Selma teens -- even though the boys ran a stop sign.
Selma High School students Anthony Caro and Jesse Lujan died in the crash last July. Anthony Shepherd is accused of leaving the scene of the accident, and now two witnesses say he was going extremely fast.
Shepherd was originally charged with just hit and run for leaving the scene of the deadly crash. But investigators later tracked down two neighbors with new information. Now, he's facing manslaughter charges.
The crash forever changed hundreds of lives. Caro and Lujan both died when their car ran a stop sign and got broadsided by a Ford Mustang, leaving friends and two families to mourn.
Candace Evans and Jennifer Solis both suffered permanent injuries as passengers in the mustang. And the driver, Anthony Shepherd, is now wearing a red jail jumpsuit, charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene. Even his passengers admit he left them behind.
"He was stumbling around with his hands in the air, grabbed his head and stumbled into the first row of trees and I didn't see him after that," said Solis.
She says she had yelled at Shepherd that the other car wasn't stopping, but it was too late. And two new witnesses may explain why he couldn't stop.
Neighbors who lived on Clarkson, just before the intersection at Bethel where the collision happened, say the Mustang was speeding.
"It was going really, really fast because I told my husband that it was going too fast and it was going to end up flipping or wrecking," said Joann Jimenez.
She says Shepherd's car passed her just before the crash. She was about to turn left into her driveway when she had to stop herself.
"I saw her actually have to physically turn pretty hard to get back into her lane because that car was passing her at a very high rate of speed," said her former neighbor, James Mosley.
He says the Mustang was going at least 90 miles per hour. He says the ground shook a few seconds later and he knew there had been an accident at the intersection. But neither Mosley nor Jimenez spoke to investigators immediately after the crash. Without their statements, police initially said Shepherd was not at fault for the accident, but with the manslaughter charges, prosecutors are telling a different story.
Judge Gary Orozco ruled Wednesday that there is enough evidence for Shepherd to stand trial. He's due back in court later this month.
crimetracker, court, selma, fresno county, local, corin hoggard
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