A 19-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and reckless driving charges stemming from a fiery three-vehicle collision in Burbank that allegedly occurred during an illegal street race.
Hamlet Arseni Aghajanyan of Burbank is charged with three counts of murder and one count of reckless driving, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Aghajanyan and a 17-year-old suspect whose name was withheld were arrested last Thursday in connection with the Aug. 3 crash on North Glenoaks Boulevard at Andover Drive. The status of any case against the juvenile was not immediately clear.
"This tragic and avoidable event was caused by subjects racing vehicles and driving recklessly at very high rates of speed," Burbank police said in a statement last week announcing the arrests in the crash that killed Cerain Anthony Raekwon Baker, 21, of Pasadena, Jaiden Kishon Johnson, 20, of Burbank, and Natalee Asal Moghaddam, 19, of Calabasas.
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The victims were in a silver Volkswagen that was "attempting to negotiate a left turn from southbound Glenoaks Boulevard to eastbound Andover Drive, when the traffic collision occurred," Burbank police Sgt. Emil Brimway said shortly after the crash.
He noted that the Volkswagen was not involved in the alleged street race.
A fourth occupant of the Volkswagen sustained serious injuries and was taken to a local trauma center, police said.
Aghajanyan, who was in a gray Kia, was seriously injured, according to police.
The 17-year-old was behind the wheel of a black Mercedes-Benz, according to Brimway, who said the teen and a passenger were not hurt.
Aghajanyan remains jailed in lieu of $6 million bail while awaiting his next court appearance Oct. 6.