Man pleads not guilty in Lodi crash killing 5

LODI, Calif. (AP) - A man has pleaded not guilty to murder, driving under the influence and other charges in a car crash in Central California that killed five members of a family, including a pregnant woman.

The Record of Stockton reports that 28-year-old Ryan Morales entered the plea in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Monday.

Authorities say Morales was driving at freeway speeds in a residential area in Lodi on Oct. 22 when he crashed into a pickup. Five of the pickup's occupants died.

Authorities say Morales had been drinking apple-flavored vodka with his father. A preliminary analysis allegedly showed his blood alcohol count was 2 ½ times the state's limit.

Authorities say they sought a murder charge against Morales because he acted with complete disregard for human life.


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