A Long Beach teen pleaded not guilty yesterday to multiple felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with a car crash that killed one person and injured another in Torrance this week.
Monte Lashawn Collins, 19, was charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and two felony counts of hit-and-run driving resulting in an injury. He also faces five misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage and one misdemeanor count of driving a vehicle without a valid driver’s license. The complaint also alleges he fled the scene after committing vehicular manslaughter, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Authorities said that on Tuesday, November 14 Collins allegedly drove a vehicle at a high rate of speed while weaving in and out of traffic on Hawthorne Boulevard.
The defendant is charged with then sideswiping a vehicle causing his car to cross the center median into oncoming traffic, colliding into additional vehicles, according to Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Dickinson.
Collins' vehicle rolled over ejecting his front seat passenger, George Jackson, 20, who died as a result of his injuries. Collins is accused of fleeing the scene after the crash, the prosecutor said.
Los Angeles resident Karin Taylor Dixson, 19, was also a passenger in Collins' vehicle. She was charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact to a vehicular manslaughter. She pleaded not guilty and had her bail set at $25,000.
Collins is being held without bail for a parole violation.
According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Inmate Information Center, he was arrested by the Long Beach Police Department for an undisclosed felony offense in November 2016 and arrested by sheriffs from LASD’s Carson station in May 2017 for another undisclosed felony offense. LADA spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani confirmed that in the 2016 incident, Collins was convicted of human trafficking after pleading no contest. He received a 12-year suspended prison sentence, 180 days in jail and five years of formal probation. The 2017 case charging Collins with second-degree robbery was dismissed, she added.
Both are due back in court on December 4.
Collins faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years and four months in state prison and Dixson faces a maximum sentence of three years.
The case remains under investigation by the Torrance Police Department.
Editor's note: this story was updated with information on prior charges against Collins.