Teen Driver Will Plead No Contest
A teenage driver accused of four deaths resulting from a high-speed crash will plead no contest to manslaughter charges, his attorney said Monday.
Marcus Christian Lellan, 18, has been charged with four counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one count of reckless driving in the Feb. 17 head-on collision that killed three Canyon High schoolmates who were his passengers and a man who was driving another car.
“Mr. Lellan and his family are very sorry about this tragic accident,” said his lawyer, James E. Blatt. “Mr. Lellan felt it was incumbent upon him to accept responsibility . . . to admit what he did was wrong, to avoid further pain and suffering to the victims’ families and his own family.”
He faces a maximum of 10 years and eight months in prison, Blatt said.
Prosecutors had no comment, said a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
The white Acura driven by the Santa Clarita youth swerved out of control on Soledad Canyon Road, hit three trees, flipped and landed on top of an oncoming Mustang. Authorities said the high school senior might have been driving as fast as 100 mph before the crash.
Three of Lellan’s passengers--Dominic Whit Ianozzi, 16, and brothers Timothy Lee Renolds, 17, and Daniel Richard Renolds, 15--died instantly. A fourth passenger, Daniel Weber, 16, suffered minor injuries. Also killed was Rodney David Adams, 45, of Santa Clarita.
Lellan is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail at Los Angeles County Jail facilities near Castaic.
Lellan pleaded not guilty to the charges at a February arraignment.
A preliminary hearing in Division 2 of Newhall Superior Court is scheduled for today.
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.