Suspect in drunk driving fatality earlier this month enters plea

The crash occurred around 1:30 a.m. July 3 on Highway 111 north of Gateway Drive in Palm Springs, according to authorities.

A Whitewater man pleaded not guilty Friday to murder for allegedly driving drunk and causing a deadly crash.

Austin George Jackson, 34, was charged last week with murder and
driving under the influence causing great bodily injury. The charges include enhancements such as engaging in violent conduct and having a concurrent sentence on other crimes.

He pleaded not guilty to both charges on Friday.

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Jackson has a previous out-of-state arrest related to DUI, according
to the Palm Springs Police Department.

The crash occurred around 1:30 a.m. July 3 on Highway 111 north of Gateway Drive in Palm Springs, according to authorities. Police said Jackson rear-ended another vehicle at high speed. The crash killed a passenger in the other vehicle, identified as 56-year-old Gabriel Casiano Martinez of Gardena. The 55-year-old female driver of the other vehicle was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Jackson was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital following the crash, according to authorities, and was then booked into jail at the John J. Benoit Center, where he remains held on $2 million bail.

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