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Man pleads not guilty in connection with Pomona street race that left 3 dead

March 1, 2011 |  4:34 pm

A man charged in connection with a Pomona street race that left three people dead pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Superior Court.

Roque Torres, 28, a Montclair resident, is facing three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of vehicular manslaughter and one count of leaving an accident scene in the deadly December 2002 race, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

Torres is charged with racing his 2002 Acura RSX against a 1993 Honda that smashed into a van on Garey Avenue north of Philadelphia Street in Pomona. The cars in the race hit speeds of about 100 mph, according to Pomona police, who cited information from witnesses.

The three occupants of the Honda -- Jamael Johnson, 22, Jose Issac Batres, 26, and Carlos Mendoza, 20 -- all residents of Pomona, died from injuries suffered during the collision.

The district attorney's office said the case was unsolved for nearly eight years until police received an anonymous tip in October.

Torres is scheduled for an April 1 preliminary hearing at the Pomona courthouse.


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