Two teens pleaded not guilty Friday in the fatal crash that killed Dakota Demott, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office said Friday.
Colt Doherty, 19, who was driving the car in which Demott was a passenger, and Thomas Joseph Vensko, 20, are being charged with contributing to the cause of the crash, a second degree murder charge.
“Both defendants entered a not guilty plea, and they will be back in court on Jan. 22,” said Lizbeth Garcia of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
One defendant made bail and both suspects will re-appear in court Dec. 14 for an arraignment in the death of Dakota Demott, who died in an alcohol-related car crash on Sand Canyon Road on Jan. 10.
At a hearing last month, Vensko had his bail reduced to $100,000, and then he posted it, according to court officials.
Doherty is still being held on $1 million bail, according to Sheriff’s Department officials.
On the night of Jan. 10, Demott and Doherty were traveling in a Ford Mustang at a high rate of speed on Sand Canyon Road. When Doherty entered a curve, he lost control of the car and collided with a large oak tree, the impact of which ejected Demott from the vehicle and threw him into a fence. Demott was declared dead at the scene.
Witnesses had told deputies that there were other vehicles involved in the crash. According to traffic investigator Deputy Mike Shapiro, Vensko was arrested because he was racing Doherty before the crash occurred.
“Even though he didn’t cause the death directly, because he was street racing, he faces the same penalty as the driver,” Shapiro said.
Vensko had two passengers in the car with him, but they are not being charged.