The attorney representing the man charged with murder in the deaths of four Pepperdine University students who were struck and killed along the Pacific Coast Highway last week says his client was being chased by another vehicle.
Michael Kraut, the defense attorney for Fraser Bohm, claimed that the 22-year-old was involved in a road rage incident that began at Duke’s Malibu, the famous bar and restaurant located on PCH about three miles west of the deadly crash site.
“We have evidence that the Sheriff’s Department did not want to take that clearly shows that there was a road rage incident that started at Duke’s, that this person chased him and tried to push him off the side of the road,” Kraut said in an interview with KTLA. “And when he accelerated to get away from him, that’s when the accident occurred.”
Kraut said security footage has been located that corroborates those claims, even going so far as to say they’ve identified the driver of the other vehicle.
“We’ve actually been able to track down who this person is, and the person who admitted to a family member that they did drive him off the road,” Kraut said.
When pressed about whether or not the defense plans to subpoena the person and make them testify as part of the legal proceedings, Kraut said that information would be released in due time.
“I highly doubt that this gentleman will voluntarily come in and say, ‘I caused these four people to die,'” Kraut said. “It’s not fair to the investigation, and I want the police to do a proper investigation.”
Kraut also pushed back on allegations that Bohm was driving at speeds in excess of 100 mph, claiming that a “black box” from the vehicle will inevitably show that his speed was closer to 70 mph.
Bohm appeared in court Wednesday to enter his plea after being charged with four counts of murder in the deaths of Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams.
He pleaded not guilty and has since seen his bail reduced from $8 million to $4 million, which Kraut argued was still too high.
The defense attorney highlighted his client’s otherwise clean driving record and the lack of a definitive statement from law enforcement about whether he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs as arguments for letting Bohm be released from custody in order to “fight the charges effectively from the outside.”
Ultimately, Kraut claimed, investigators and prosecutors have arrested the wrong man.
“I believe that the evidence is going to show that my client isn’t responsible. It’s the person who ran them off the road and said to people, he purposely ran them off.”