A motorist who was still on probation for the DUI-related hit-and-run death of a college student in Northern California when he allegedly led deputies on a Coachella Valley pursuit while high on drugs and alcohol pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple felony charges.
Soloman David Friese, 24, is charged of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and evading arrest.
Sheriff’s officials and prosecutors allege Friese was drunk and high on methamphetamine when he led deputies on a Tuesday morning chase from Thousand Palms to Desert Hot Springs after fleeing from a 7:30 a.m. traffic stop.
According to sheriff’s Deputy Armando Munoz, the chase ended when Friese crashed his car into another vehicle in the area of Dillon Road and Palm Drive. The other driver was uninjured, he said.
Friese previously pleaded no contest to charges of DUI vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing death for an Oct. 26, 2014, crash that fatally injured 22-year-old Chi Lam, a San Jose State University computer engineering major who died in a hospital the following day, according to officials with Santa Clara County Superior Court.
He was sentenced to two years in state prison, followed by five years of probation, but it’s unclear how much of that term he served. He later moved to Cathedral City, and was on probation for Lam’s death at the time of Tuesday’s pursuit, court records show.
Friese, who’s being held at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $100,000 bail, will return to court July 5 for a felony settlement conference.
–City News Service
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