A 22-year-old driver who lost control of his BMW in Malibu, California, last week on a treacherous stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, killing four Pepperdine University seniors, has been charged with murder, officials said.
Fraser Bohm was arrested Tuesday on four counts of murder for the deaths of sorority sisters Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams. His bail was set at $8 million, records show.
The Seaver College School of the Arts students were killed about 8:30 p.m. Oct. 17 when Bohm was allegedly speeding on a section of the iconic road known as “Dead Man’s Curve.” Bohm had turned 22 the day before.
He swerved onto the shoulder, hitting three parked vehicles, which then slammed into the four young women who were walking nearby, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said after the crash.
The women, who were all members of Alpha Phi, were declared dead at the scene, which is about four miles north of the university. Two other victims were injured.
A local news outlet captured footage of an investigator administering a sobriety test to Bohm, who emerged from his mangled BMW unscathed. Officials have not disclosed the results of the test.
Bohm, who was a star baseball player at Oaks Christian School, was initially arrested after the collision for gross vehicular manslaughter, but the charges were dropped to “allow detectives time to gather the evidence needed to secure the strongest criminal filing and conviction,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Detectives only have 48 hours to present evidence to the district attorney’s office to support charges, the release explained.
“In this specific case, the evidence including toxicology, speed analysis, execution of search warrants, etc. was still pending and took additional time to collect,” according to the statement.
Bohm is from a wealthy family who owns an $8.7 million Malibu estate with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean near the crash site. It is unclear what Bohm has been up to since graduating from high school.
Pepperdine President Jim Gash offered his condolences to the four slain students, who were set to graduate this spring.
“Indeed, one of the greatest mysteries of life is when and why our time on this earth is cut short,” Gash said in his statement. “In such times, we hold firm to our faith in the God who sustains and nourishes us even when—and especially when—we experience life’s most significant losses.”
Rolston, 20, a Los Angeles native, and Stewart, 21, were business majors at Pepperdine, according to their LinkedIn profiles. Rolston was also a talented gymnast, and Stewart was vice president of finance at Alpha Phi.
Weir, 21, of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, was pursuing a degree in English and was the executive administrator of Alpha Phi.
Williams, 21, was from Atlanta, where she had attended St. Pius Catholic School.
“To the students who loved, lived with, and were in community with the departed members of our Pepperdine family, my heart is broken with yours,” Gash said in the statement.
Bohm is due back in court on Wednesday. The investigation is ongoing.
The Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station is urging anyone with information to contact the Traffic Investigations Office at 818-878-1808. Tips can also be provided anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.
Julia Bonavita contributed to this report.
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