A motorist who allegedly fled from police during a traffic stop in Pomona and crashed into another vehicle, killing the driver, pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and other counts.
Eli Richard Machado Lopez, 22, of Pomona, was charged last month with one count each of second-degree murder, evading causing death, hit-and-run causing serious bodily injury and unlawful taking of a vehicle.
Rolando Pinto-Mendez, 26, of Pomona, died at the scene of the Feb. 3 crash near San Antonio Avenue and Philadelphia Street.
An officer attempted to pull over the suspect for a vehicle code violation at San Antonio Avenue and Ninth Street, but he failed to stop, according to Aly Mejia of the Pomona Police Department. The officer pursued the driver briefly with the patrol car’s police lights on before the suspect crashed into the other vehicle, she said.
Lopez was subsequently located and taken into custody that afternoon.