An Indian-origin man has been found guilty of killing three teenage boys who played a doorbell-ringing prank at his house in California, according to local media reports.
Anurag Chandra, a Riverside County resident, was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder and three counts of first-degree murder.
The incident took place on January 19, 2020, when a group of teenage boys rang Chandra’s bell on a dare.
Chandra said that one of the teens flashed his buttocks before running away.
During the trial, Chandra testified that he had been afraid for his family’s safety that night when he saw a person with a hooded sweatshirt outside his home, and that he chased down the other car to verbally express his anger.
He also testified that he had drunk 12 bottles of beer on the night of the crash.
He followed the boys and rammed their Toyota Prius off the road, which slammed into a tree in Temescal Valley.
Corona residents Daniel Hawkins and Drake Ruiz passed away due to their injuries, along with Riverside resident Jacob Ivascu. All were 16 years old.
The suspect testified that he did not plan to crash into the boys’ car.
Chandra also said he did not stop after rear-ending their vehicle because he did not think anyone had been injured.
The driver, who was 18 years old, survived, along with two 13-year-old passengers.
Chandra is already facing charges in connection with a domestic violence incident in 2020 before the fatal crash.
He is set to face sentencing on July 14 and could see life in prison without the possibility of parole, the New York Times newspaper reported.
“The murder of these young men was a horrendous and senseless tragedy for our community,” Mike Hestrin, the Riverside County district attorney, said in an emailed statement. “I thank the jury for their verdict.” David Wohl, an attorney for Chandra, called the verdict “unfortunate.”