California man guilty of killing 3 boys after ding-dong-ditch prank
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A Corona man accused of killing three teenage boys by intentionally ramming their car after they played a doorbell-ringing prank on him was found guilty Friday of murder.
Anurag Chandra was convicted in a Riverside County courtroom of three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder.
"The murder of these young men was a horrendous and senseless tragedy for our community. I thank the jury for their verdict. This is an important step toward justice," county District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a statement.
Chandra’s attorney, David Wohl, did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 3 teens killed after game of ding-dong-ditch turns deadly, victim's mother says
The victims, who were all 16 years old, were among six teens inside a Toyota Prius on Jan. 19, 2020 when Chandra intentionally rammed their vehicle off the road and fled, prosecutors said.
The Prius’ driver lost control and the sedan slammed into a tree in Temescal Valley, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
The friends had dared one boy to either jump into a pool at night or play "ding dong ditch."
The crash killed Daniel Hawkins of Corona; Drake Ruiz of Corona; and Jacob Ivascu of Riverside, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office.
Sergio Campusano was the Prius’ 18-year-old driver at the time. He and then-13-year-olds Joshua Hawkins and Joshua Ivascu survived the crash. They testified at the trial and were in the courtroom when the verdict was read.
Chandra already was facing criminal charges in connection with alleged domestic violence in 2020 when the killings occurred.