New proof exhibits that Isaiah Joel Peoples additionally focused the gang primarily based on race, Sunnyvale, California, Police Chief Phan Ngo informed reporters Friday. Ngo refused talk about the proof or present extra particulars concerning the investigation.
Peoples, 34, has been charged with eight counts of tried homicide for allegedly driving his automobile into pedestrians in Sunnyvale earlier this week. If convicted, Peoples faces as much as life in jail.
The suspect briefly appeared in courtroom Friday, sporting an orange jail jumpsuit and peering again on the viewers a number of instances.
Chuck Smith, an legal professional representing Peoples, didn’t enter a plea and requested the choose to postponed his shopper’s arraignment. He stated Peoples is a spiritual man who’s praying for the individuals who had been injured.
“Completely we’re disputing that this was an intentional act and this can be a case of psychological dysfunction,” he stated.
Peoples is due again in courtroom on Could 16.
Hate crime cost might be forthcoming
Jay Boyarsky, the Santa Clara County chief assistant district legal professional, didn’t dismiss the potential for formally contemplating the incident as a hate crime.
“There is no hate crime allegation cost at this cut-off date for one motive solely, the matter remains to be being investigated,” he stated.
Boyarsky stated Peoples focused a minimum of one or two individuals primarily based on his “view” of what the victims’ race or faith might have been.
The prosecutor solely described the brand new proof as “very interesting and disturbing.”
Suspect is a military veteran headed to Bible examine
Peoples was on his approach to his Bible examine group after choosing up some meals on Tuesday, in line with investigators, when police stated he ran over a bunch of individuals strolling on a sidewalk.
The victims, women and men, ranged in age from 9 to 52. At the very least one in every of them, a 13-year-old woman, stays hospitalized Friday in essential situation, police stated.
Witnesses informed investigators that after the incident, Peoples might be heard saying one thing akin to thanking God or Jesus, Ngo stated. However he did not exhibit that habits when he was arrested, Ngo stated.
Peoples, a Sunnyvale resident who was born in San Francisco, was arrested on the scene of the crash. Police stated he served within the Military between 2004 and 2006, and was honorably discharged. He then served within the Military reserve till 2008. He has been working as a Division of Protection contractor as a finance auditor.
Sunnyvale is about 9 miles west of San Jose, California.
CNN’s Cherri Mossburg and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.