Prosecutors pursue speed racing cases in court


A Palmdale man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of having taken part in an illegal speed contest in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The 21-year-old man was arrested by deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Tuesday morning.

The charge of taking part in an illegal speed contest, a misdemeanor, is a violation of the state’s vehicle code.

Under the law: “A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway.”

A “speed contest” is defined under Section 23109(a) of the same code “as a race of your vehicle against another car, or against a clock or other timing device.”

The accused man is expected to appear in the Santa Clarita Courthouse.

His arrest comes at a time when prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office are pressing ahead with a 2016 murder case rooted in speed racing.

In that case which is separate and unrelated to Tuesday’s arrest, a Whittier man appeared in court briefly Wednesday charged with murder in a crash that killed three people including two Santa Clarita Valley residents more than a year ago.

Dealio Lockhart, 35, of Whittier, charged with murder in a crash that killed Brian Lewandowski, 18, Michelle Littlefield, 19, both of the SCV, appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court to set a date for a preliminary hearing – again.

Lockhart appeared in March to set a date for a preliminary only to have it postponed until May 30.

Michelle Littlefield’s parents, William and Gigi Littlefield, stand next to a photo of their daughter, who was killed in February 2016 in a car crash on Interstate 5 in Commerce. Littlefield was returning from Disneyland with three friends, including Brian Lewandowski, who was also killed in the crash. The two other occupants were seriously injured. Katharine Lotze/Signal

On Wednesday, his case was postponed again.  This time, he’s ordered to appear back in court July 19 to set a date for his 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.

Deputy District Attorney Mike Blake told The Signal Wednesday that the Lockhart case “was put over until July.”

Blake said he is still waiting on a “comprehensive” scientific study by California Highway Patrol investigators into the deadly crash that claimed the lives of three young people.

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.

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