Monday, August 29, 2005

Death penalty sought against man accused in Glendale crash

Associated Press:

Juan Manuel Alvarez

Prosecutors have decided to seek the death penalty against the man accused of causing a collision of two commuter trains that killed 11 people and injured nearly 200.

Juan Manuel Alvarez, 26, allegedly parked his Jeep on tracks in suburban Glendale on Jan. 26, then abandoned the vehicle as a Metrolink train approached. The train crashed into the Jeep and derailed, slamming into an oncoming train.

Glendale police have said that while it initially appeared Alvarez was trying to commit suicide, the discovery of other evidence, including gasoline doused on the sport utility vehicle, showed he was trying to cause the crash.

Alvarez has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of murder and one count of arson.

Eleven members of the Los Angeles County district attorney's capital case committee agreed this week to use a rarely used "train wrecking" statute as one of the special circumstance allegations against Alvarez, spokeswoman Jane Robison said Friday.

She declined to discuss what led the committee to seek the death penalty.

Metrolink Suspect May Face Execution

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