From the Office of the District Attorney:
Martinez, California – Murder charges are part of a six-count felony complaint filed today by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office against 20-year-old Ralph Ellsworth White, III of Vallejo.
The charges stem from a short high-speed police pursuit that resulted in a vehicle collision that took the life of a mother and son in Rodeo. The incident occurred on March 23rd around 7:30 pm when Hercules Police were notified by the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office of a stolen Mazda SUV traveling eastbound on I-80 toward the City of Hercules.
A peace officer with Hercules Police saw the stolen vehicle exit Willow Avenue and attempted to pull the vehicle over. White accelerated the SUV away from the police vehicle, and shortly after, collided with another vehicle near Parker Avenue and 4th Street in Rodeo. White fled from the crash on foot, but officers found him at a nearby liquor store. He was placed under arrest and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility in Martinez.
The impact of the collision killed the driver of the vehicle, 31-year-old Ryniqueka Dowell, and injured her six-year-old twin sons – one of whom died on March 27th from crash-related injuries.
The other boy suffered a broken leg and other injuries.
White will be arraigned on March 29th at 1:30 pm in Martinez on the following charges: Two counts of murder with two enhancements for committing the offenses while on bail. White also faces felonies for fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle and causing serious bodily injury, a hit and run resulting in the death or injury to another person, carrying a loaded unregistered firearm, and receiving stolen property (i.e., a motor vehicle).