MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) — The driver in a Malibu crash that killed four Pepperdine University students pleaded not guilty to murder during his first court appearance Wednesday morning.
Fraser Bohm, 22, is charged with four counts of murder and four counts of vehicular manslaughter.
In court Wednesday, Bohm claimed he was trying to get away from someone who was aggressively chasing him just before the deadly crash on the Pacific Coast Highway last week. Investigators say Bohm was speeding when he lost control of his car and hit several parked cars, which crashed into the women who died.
His bail was lowered from $8 million to $4 million.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated. A previous version is below.
A driver involved in a crash in Malibu that killed four Pepperdine University students has been re-arrested for four counts of murder, authorities said Tuesday.
Fraser Bohm, 22, was initially arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, but was released to allow detectives time to gather more evidence. He was re-arrested Tuesday and now faces four counts of murder, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. His bail was set at $8 million.
The deadly crash was reported last Tuesday evening in the 21600 block of Pacific Coast Highway. Investigators say Bohm lost control of his car and hit several parked cars, which crashed into the women. Two other people were injured in the incident.
“When a case is presented to the District Attorney’s Office, you need to present supporting evidence for the specific charges being requested for filing within 48 hours,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “In this specific case, the evidence including toxicology, speed analysis, execution of search warrants, etc. was still pending and took additional time to collect.”
The victims were identified as Niamh Rolston, 20, Peyton Stewart, 21, Asha Weir, 21, and Deslyn Williams, 21. They were all sorority sisters and seniors at Pepperdine’s Seaver College of Liberal Arts.
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All four will receive their degrees posthumously and a memorial will be placed on campus to honor them.
An investigation is ongoing.