Prosecutors waiting on a “comprehensive” scientific study by California Highway Patrol investigators into the deadly crash that claimed the lives of three young people, including two Valencia residents, were compelled to reschedule a court hearing in the murder case Thursday.
Dealio Lockhart, 35, of Whittier, charged with murder in a crash that killed Brian Lewandowski, 18, Michelle Littlefield, 19, both of the Santa Clarita Valley, appeared Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court to set a date for a preliminary hearing, but that date was put off until May 31.
Both Lewandowski and Littlefield had also been enrolled as students at College of the Canyons.
“We’re waiting for a report from the investigator at the CHP,” Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake told The Signal Thursday.
“We had an expert go through it,” Blake said, referring to the deadly crash and noting the study would provide a thorough analysis of it.
“This analysis done by the CHP is comprehensive with a lot of science,” he said.
Lockhart, who pleaded not guilty early last year to the charges filed against him, appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday to set a date for a preliminary hearing.
During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors present evidence in the case, and the defense can respond, after which the judge will decide if the case should go to trial.
Lockhart is suspected of racing his Dodge Challenger with another driver on Feb. 27, 2016, in Commerce, causing a chain-reaction collision that killed two Valencia residents and a UPS truck driver from Mira Loma.
Littlefield and Lewandowski, the son of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective, were passengers in a Nissan with two other young people who were critically injured.
All four occupants of the Nissan were employees of Six Flags Magic Mountain returning from a trip to Disneyland.
UPS truck driver, Scott Treadway, 52, of Mira Loma, was also killed in the crash.
If convicted, Lockhart faces up to life in state prison.
Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol asked in March 2016, for the public’s help identifying the second driver involved in the fatal crash.
Lockhart remains the sole person charged in connection with the crash.
“As an ongoing investigation, I can tell you that every effort is being made to locate that other person,” Blake firstname.lastname@example.org 661-287-5527 on Twitter @jamesarthurholt