A Costa Mesa man who appeared to be convicted in April of two counts of murder before one juror changed her mind is headed back to court for a retrial.
Alec Scott Abraham, 25, is accused in connection with a 2015 hit-and-run crash in Irvine that killed a 2-year old girl and her grandmother. Prosecutors allege Abraham ran a red light while racing another car and smashed into the family’s vehicle.
Abraham’s first trial ended April 3 with an Orange County Superior Court judge declaring a mistrial after a juror changed her vote during confirmation polling of the jury moments after the panel had delivered a guilty verdict on each of the two counts. Without a unanimous decision, the initial guilty verdict couldn’t stand.
Jury selection in the retrial will begin Tuesday, and opening statements are expected before the end of the week, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.
During the two-week trial last year, prosecutors argued that Abraham recklessly raced another car in his Ford Mustang through a red light on June 10, 2015, and broadsided a Chevrolet Cruze driven by Katherine Hampton, 54, of Lake Forest. Hampton died at the scene. Her 2-year-old granddaughter, Kaydence, died later at a hospital. Hampton’s daughter and another grandchild who were riding in the Cruze survived the impact.
Abraham, who is accused of fleeing the scene on foot, was arrested the next day in a Costa Mesa park.
His attorney in last year’s trial called the murder charges an “an overreach by the prosecution.”
“This was not murder,” Houman Fakhimi said in April, adding that his client had no previous record of traffic accidents or DUIs.
Abraham could face 30 years to life in prison if convicted of the two counts of murder.