The average high-speed chase lasts only two minutes, but the outcome for innocent victims killed in pursuits is always the same no matter the length of the pursuit. To justify the death of an innocent bystander solely on the length of the pursuit is not justice.
-- Candy Priano
Man Convicted in Police Chase
- That Killed a 4-Year-Old Girl
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
ANGELES -- A
41-year-old Los Angeles man was found guilty today of leading police
on a brief (15 block) chase through downtown Los Angeles last year
that ended with the death of a 4-year-old girl and seriously injured
three people, the District Attorney's Office announced.
deliberating just one hour, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found
Darren Gilard Rhinehardt guilty of second-degree murder, evading an
officer, evading an officer causing death, possession of cocaine,
which are all felonies, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a
misdemeanor, said Deputy District Attorney Dmitry Brodsky.
was found guilty of leading LAPD officers on a 15-block chase through
downtown after he nearly hit a police car on June 1, 2002. At Sixth
and Spring streets, Rhinehardt ran a red light and slammed into a
minivan, which in turn was pushed into a light. The pole fell on
4-year-old Evelyn Vargas, who was killed instantly as she held her
mother's hand while they were waiting for a bus.
said police had actually pulled back a block behind Rhinehardt when he
ran a red light and hit the van.
who has a previous strike for assault with a deadly weapon, is facing
39 years to life in prison when he is sentenced March 12 by Superior
Court Judge Ruffo Espinosa.