Suspect faces quadruple murder charges in connection with fatal hit-and-run

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Jan Flatley-Feldman/File

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Fred Lowe, 47, of Sacramento will face quadruple murder charges for his involvement in a multi-vehicle hit-and-run that left four dead and six injured Nov. 25. Cal baseball pitcher Jared Horn survived the crash with minor injuries.

Lowe, who was being held at Martinez Detention Facility as of Friday, will be arraigned Dec. 14 at the Richmond courthouse, according to Contra Costa deputy public defender Michael Lepie. He will be charged with four counts of murder, one count of felony DUI and one count of fleeing the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily injury or death, said Derek Butts, deputy district attorney for Contra Costa County. He will be represented by the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender, and he is being held on $4.2 million bail.

Butts said Lowe’s multimillion-dollar bail was “not a big deal.” According to Butts, bail for one count of murder is $1 million, and the DUI and fleeing amount to $140,000.

Butts said he looks at the “whole package” when determining whether or not to opt for murder charges. A prior DUI conviction can impact the charges, along with blood alcohol level, the speed of the vehicle and the outcome of the crash, he added.

Lowe has at least two prior DUI convictions — one in 2011 and another in 2012.

“Fleeing from the scene shows a certain level of malice,” said Butts. “There are some close calls, but this was not a close call.”

California Highway Patrol Officer Matt Hamer said the accident occurred just after 8 p.m. when Lowe’s Mercedes allegedly collided with a Nissan sedan traveling eastbound on I-80, causing the Nissan to flip over the center median and into the path of westbound traffic. Lowe allegedly fled the scene, exiting the next off-ramp, at which point he was involved in another hit-and-run with another vehicle.

Campus sophomore Jared Horn survived the accident with minor injuries, but he lost four of his family members in the crash. His father, Daryl Horn, 50, and brother, Joseph Horn, 14, were pronounced dead at the scene along with his uncle, Troy Biddle, 52, and cousin, Baden Biddle, 12.

Jared Horn was released Saturday night from the hospital, according to Cam Neal, a family friend.

“There’s a nonstop presence of family and friends in his house,” said Neal. “I think he’s in good hands and well-supported.”

Neal said he believes Jared Horn still intends to play baseball this season.

“With the brotherhood he feels for those guys, I think he’s going to find the strength to play for Cal this year,” Neal said.

Contact Jared Brewer at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @JaredBBrewer.

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  • Katherine Welsh

    This is absolutely horrible and such a failure of the justice system. That guy should not have been allowed to drive a car.

  • BerkPed

    1 DUI should be automatic 1 year car impound.
    2 DUI should be no license and no car ownership for life.