LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police said Thursday that the man accused of killing an LAPD officer did so intentionally by ramming his SUV into a patrol car in order to help a friend flee police.
District Attorney Jackie Lacey and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck held news conference at 8:30 a.m. in downtown LA to discuss the charges against Mynor Enrique Valero.
Valero, 20, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, two counts of assault on a police officer and one count of leaving the scene of an accident in connection to the death of Officer Roberto Sanchez.
Valero is accused of driving an SUV that hit Sanchez’s patrol car early Saturday in Harbor City.
Sanchez, 32, died at a local hospital from his injuries. His partner, Officer Richard Medina, suffered numerous injuries, including a broken jaw. He was released from the hospital Monday.
According to investigators, the officers were on routine patrol when they began following a white Chevy Camaro that was allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed.
“They followed that vehicle for a short distance. That vehicle made a U-turn and our officers subsequently made a U-turn. When they made that U-turn, the police vehicle was collided into by a Chevy Tahoe,” said Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith.
Varela, who allegedly knew the driver of the Camaro, fled the crash scene, but was taken into custody later that day along with his brother, 19-year-old Bryan Valera, Chief Beck said. They both were originally arrested on charges that were unrelated to the traffic incident.
Brian Valero is being held on a no-bond parole hold pending further investigation into this incident.
The driver of the Camaro has been identified by police, but has not been arrested.
A mug shot of Varela, who is being held without bail, was not released by authorities.