The fate of a Costa Mesa man accused of killing a woman and her granddaughter in a 2015 street-racing crash in Irvine is now in the hands of a jury.
Alec Scott Abraham faces two counts of murder in the deaths of Katherine Hampton, 54, of Lake Forest, who died at the scene of the crash, and her 2-year-old granddaughter, Kaydence, who died later in a hospital.
Abraham faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors allege that Abraham was racing his Ford Mustang against another driver on the night of June 10, 2015, when he ran a red light at Alton and Barranca parkways and hit a Chevrolet Cruze driven by Hampton.
Hampton was returning home from South Coast Plaza with her daughter, Megan, and two grandchildren, Kaydence and Nathaniel, court documents stated.
Hampton was wearing a seat belt, and Kaydence was in a child seat, according to the court records.
Witnesses testified that Abraham approached the intersection at about 70 mph before running a red light and broadsiding the other vehicle with his Mustang.
After the collision, Abraham walked to the mangled Cruze, peered inside and then walked back to his car, prosecutors said. He then asked a bystander who had been walking his dog to borrow his cellphone. The bystander lent the phone to Abraham, who made a call while walking back to Hampton’s vehicle. The phone’s owner then saw Abraham running down Alton Parkway, according to the court documents.
Another witness described seeing Abraham running along a drainage ditch, then jumping a chain-link fence, crossing railroad tracks and jumping another chain-link fence into a business park.
Police later found Abraham’s blood-stained jacket where he was said to have climbed over a fence, along with other blood on the fence, prosecutors said.
The borrowed cellphone was found in a drainage ditch near a business off Alton Parkway. Police said they determined the outgoing call had been to Abraham’s father.
Abraham was arrested the following day near a Costa Mesa park.
Abraham’s lawyer challenged claims that his client was racing, saying there were no skid marks or security video to confirm a second vehicle.
The Orange County district attorney’s office originally charged Abraham with manslaughter but soon after filed the murder charges. Suspects can be charged with murder in certain situations if prosecutors believe that they were aware they were risking someone’s life and chose to proceed anyway.
Police officers found multiple traffic citations in the Mustang, including speeding tickets, the court documents said.
Authorities obtained a cellphone video that they said Abraham previously sent to friends showing him reaching 140 mph as he yelled “Whoooo!”
The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday.
Sclafani writes for Times Community News.