Anurag Chandra, a 45-year-old Indian-origin man residing in California, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole. The conviction came after an incident in 2020, where Chandra deliberately collided his car with another vehicle, leading to the deaths of three 16-year-old boys and causing serious injuries to three others after they played a "doorbell prank" on him.
The jury at Riverside County took only three hours to deliver the verdict and found Chandra guilty, PTI reported. Chandra was found guilty of three counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, according to a press release by the District Attorney's Office on 14 July.
The three 16-year-old boys were identified as Daniel Hawkins, Jacob Ivascu, and Drake Ruiz. Those injured were an 18-year-old boy who was the driver of the vehicle as well as two other boys ages 13 and 14.
The incident happened on the night of 19 January 2020 in Temescal Canyon Road.
The investigation by the California Highway Patrol revealed that the boys were having a sleepover and dared one of the friends to do a “doorbell ditch,” so they drove to a nearby house. Once they reached, they rang the doorbell of a home on Modjeska Summit Road and ran back to their car.
Chandra, who lived at the home, chased after the boys’ vehicle in his car. The boys were in a 2002 Toyota Prius.
Chandra's response was one of extreme anger and aggression. As he pursued the teenagers, he repeatedly collided with their Prius, forcing them to halt.
Chandra's dangerous chase continued, despite their attempt to escape by making a U-turn. Ultimately, at Squaw Mountain Road, he accelerated to a staggering 99 mph and crashed into the back of the Prius, sending it careening off the road into a tree.
Chandra's remorseless actions didn't end there, instead, of staying at the accident site and reporting the incident.
Apart from the murder charges, Chandra also faced misdemeanour charges of spousal battery and child endangerment in a separate case. He had already pleaded guilty to these charges and received credit for time served.
Since his arrest on 20 January 2020, Chandra has been in custody at the Robert Presley Detention Centre in Riverside, awaiting trial. District Attorney Mike Hestrin expressed his satisfaction with the maximum sentence imposed by Judge Navarro, highlighting the profound impact of Chandra's actions on countless families.