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Suspect in killing of Irvine cheerleader: 'They're making me out to be a monster, and I'm not'

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The driver accused of killing an Irvine cheerleader has expressed concern and sadness for the families affected.

Farley In a jailhouse interview, Austin Jeffrey Farley of Irvine did not admit or deny responsibility for the teenager's death, saying only that he is not the "careless maniac" being portrayed in the media.

"As a human being, as a person, I feel terrible for their family," Farley said. "They're making me out to be a monster, and I'm not. Like any average American human being with a heart, it's a tragedy. Whether I was in the accident or not, I would be upset. I'm not an animal. I'm just a person."

The Orange County district attorney has charged the construction worker with murder and other crimes in the Memorial Day weekend wreck that claimed 14-year-old Northwood High School freshman Ashton Sweet's life and sent four other people to the hospital. Farley is accused of driving with a blood-alcohol level more than 2 1/2 times the legal limit.

Read the full story here.

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Jaycee Dugard's grand jury testimony provides personal account of kidnapping

-- Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photos: (top) A large portrait of Ashton Sweet watches over a roadside memorial at Irvine Boulevard and Culver Drive in Irvine, where the 14-year-old Northwood High School student was killed in an auto accident by a suspected drunk driver May 29. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

(bottom) Austin Jeffrey Farley. Credit: Irvine Police Department

 
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