WESTMINSTER (CBSLA.com) — A 41-year-old man accused of murdering a friend while leading officers on two separate pursuits was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Javier Homero Montoya, of Riverside, was charged with one felony count each of murder, assault with a deadly weapon, evading peace officers while driving recklessly, and evading peace officers while driving recklessly causing serious bodily injury or death.
Montoya was also charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer.
According to police, around 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2014, Montoya allegedly drove his Ford F-150 pickup truck from a 24 Hour Fitness parking lot, located in the Westminster Center, when he failed to stop for two officers that attempted to conduct a traffic stop.
He sped off and drove recklessly, while leading officers on a high speed pursuit, on the northbound 405 Freeway, officers explained.
During the pursuit, Montoya allegedly slammed on his brakes, which caused a squad car to collide with the back of his vehicle, and subsequently hit the side of another squad car.
He fled from the scene and managed to escape from the officers, authorities added.
Around 11:30 p.m., officers spotted Montoya driving his truck near an apartment complex with his friend, 43-year-old Alberto Marquez, who traveled in the passenger seat.
Police explained they attempted to conduct a second traffic stop on his vehicle, however, Montoya once again led them on a pursuit, and drove at speeds up to 90 miles per hour with his headlights off.
He lost control of the truck near the 710 Freeway exchange, where he crashed into light poles and trees that were located off the side of the road, before catching on fire.
Officers explained both men were removed from the vehicle. Authorities pronounced Marquez dead at the scene.
Montoya was transported to Long Beach Memorial Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and was taken into custody.
According to the district attorney’s office, he is being held on $1 million.
If convicted, Montoya faces a maximum sentence of 59 years to life in state prison.