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Anurag Chandra sentenced to life for killing 3 teens over doorbell prank

New York, July 17 (IANS) A 45-year-old Indian-origin man has been sentenced to life without parole for his role in the January 2020 car crash that killed three teenage boys in California who had pranked him by ringing his doorbell and running away.

Anurag Chandra was convicted of three counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders was found true by the jurors in a Riverside County courtroom this April.

It took a Riverside County jury only three hours to return guilty verdicts against Chandra, a District Attorney Office release said last week.

Investigations revealed that Chandra had deliberately crashed his car into the vehicle carrying the youngsters on the night of January 19, 2020, on Temescal Canyon Road.

Chandra’s victims were identified as Drake Ruiz and Daniel Hawkins of Corona and Jacob Ivascu of Riverside, who were all 16-years-old at the time.

The 18-year-old driver of Toyota Prius, as well as two other boys ages 13 and 14, were injured but survived.

The six teens were in the Prius that was forced off the road by Chandra, resulting in the car slamming into a tree on the east side of the roadway.

Chandra left the scene of the crash and returned home without reporting what occurred.

The release stated that the boys were having a sleepover and ultimately dared one of the friends to do a “doorbell ditch,” so they drove to a nearby house, according to an investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

Once there, one of the boys rang the doorbell of a home on Modjeska Summit Road and ran back to the Prius.

Chandra, who lived at the home, chased after the Prius in his 2019 Infinity Q50. As he pursued the victims, he re-ended the Prius, and sideswiped their vehicle until they were forced to stop. The Prius made a U-turn to escape, however, Chandra continued his pursuit.

Ultimately, as both vehicles approached Squaw Mountain Road, Chandra increased his speed to 99 mph, then intentionally rammed his car into the back of the Prius, causing it to veer off the road and into a tree.

In a separate case, Chandra also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of spousal battery and child endangerment and received credit for time already served.

Chandra has been in custody at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside since his arrest on January 20, 2020, in connection with the homicide case.

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