Austin Eis, the homeless man accused of committing a series of violent acts that culminated in a crash that killed a ninth-grade student at Westlake High School, did not physically appear in court as scheduled on Thursday. Instead, he appeared electronically from jail and, through his attorney, postponed arraignment until May 19, prosecutors said.
Eis, 24, is charged with murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, use of pepper spray, false imprisonment, and several other serious charges.
On Tuesday, authorities say Eis pepper-sprayed and stabbed a Walmart employee in Simi Valley, threatened others with a knife, and attempted to drag another employee out of the store. He is also accused of forcing his way into a relative’s home in Camarillo.
Shortly after fleeing the home, authorities say Eis intentionally plowed into a group of students outside Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, his alma mater. The crash killed 15-year-old Wesley Welling and injured three other students.
“A 15-year-old high school student lost his life as a result of this horrendous and senseless series of crimes,” Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko said in a statement. “Our county collectively mourns this tragic loss of life and the injuries that have been suffered, and our office will continue to pursue justice and accountability on behalf of the victims and their families.”
Prosecutors have not yet determined a motive for the alleged crime spree.