© 2007 The Associated Press
HOUSTON — A 15-year-old boy who slammed a stolen car into a freight train parked at a railroad crossing has been charged with murder in the deaths of four of his passengers.
Bobby Davis, of Baytown, was booked into a juvenile detention center Thursday and is scheduled to appear at a detention hearing Friday. He's charged with four counts of felony murder.
His family's attorney, Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, couldn't be reached for comment Thursday. Previously, Haynes shifted attention to the idling train.
"The stolen vehicle didn't contribute to the crash collision and the deaths. What contributed was the fact there was an unmarked, unlighted crossing with a train parked there for 34 minutes," Haynes said.
Police said the teens were joyriding on June 14 in a Jeep Cherokee that Davis had stolen. The accident occurred at 4 a.m. The one boy to survive along with Davis reported that Davis was trying to "catch some air" by speeding over the crossing, investigators said.
Joe Arbona, a spokesman for Union Pacific, said the train had been idling at the ungated, unlit crossing for about 30 minutes when the crash occurred.
Killed were Davis' 14-year-old brother, Austin; Loral Moyers, 12; her cousin, Macy Moyers, 14; and Colette Windham, 14. Investigators said the teens had sneaked out of their families' homes.
Harris County sheriff's Lt. Darryl Coleman said authorities don't believe Bobby Davis was intoxicated; the victims' autopsy results showed no signs of alcohol.
Coleman said several factors contributed to the murder charges.
"This kid killed four other kids in one act, which occurred after he had stolen two cars that night," Coleman said. "He actually stole one and it broke down and then he went down the street and stole another."
Felony murder is defined as causing a death that occurs during actions that were clearly dangerous to human life while a felony is being committed.
Robert Pelton, a longtime Houston criminal defense attorney, said Davis could receive 40 years in jail for each death if he is convicted as a juvenile. If prosecutors were successful in convicting him as an adult, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
Arbona said crossing gates and flashing red warning lights are scheduled to be added to the crossing within about four months.
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