L.A. County District Attorney Notes Murder Counts in Metrolink Train Derailment

January 28, 2005

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley on Thursday announced 10 counts of murder with special circumstances have been filed against Juan Manuel Alvarez, who is suspected of parking his SUV on train tracks and causing Wednesday’s deadly Metrolink train derailment.

Cooley said prosecutors from the Major Crimes Division would amend the complaint to add an 11th count of murder. The complaint, BA277752, alleges the special circumstances of multiple murders and murder caused by train derailment.

A decision to seek the death penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole will be made at a later date.

The accident claimed 11 lives and injured many in suburban Glendale, after Alvarez allegedly abandoned his SUV on the tracks and caused two commuter trains to collide.

Meantime, Ventura County (California) District Attorney Gregory Totten announced that his staff is assisting the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Center, the California Victims Compensation Claims Board, and the California Office of Emergency Services in the coordination of services for the passengers involved in Wednesday’s Metrolink train crash and their families.

Victims and witness experience a variety of needs in the wake of crime, including financial assistance with medical expenses. Victims and witnesses are encouraged to contact the following numbers for assistance: 1- (800) 380-3811; 1- (626) 927-2511; 1- (805) 654-3622.

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