Man Pleads Not Guilty in Traffic Deaths

An allegedly drunk driver accused of causing a head-on collision on Pacific Coast Highway that killed two Pepperdine University law students and injured two others pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges.

Kelly Dean Eastman, 37, of Los Angeles--who authorities say has an earlier drunk driving conviction from a 1994 Utah incident--was being held in lieu of more than $2-million bail.

The law students were taking a dinner study break Dec. 9 when Eastman allegedly swerved into oncoming traffic and plowed into Kimberly Dawn Ellis’ small car.

Ellis, 22, of West Covina, died on arrival at UCLA Medical Center. Jeannine Gregory, 22, of Walled Lake, Mich., was pronounced dead at the scene.

Eastman, who authorities said had a blood-alcohol level at 0.22%, was treated for minor injuries.


A Malibu judge set a Jan. 22 hearing date to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to proceed against Eastman.