7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

Man pleads innocent in Calif. train wreck

(The Associated Press distributed the following article on February 15.)

LOS ANGELES -- The man accused of causing a deadly train wreck during an aborted suicide attempt last month pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 11 counts of murder that could bring the death penalty.

Juan Manuel Alvarez, 25, parked an SUV on the tracks Jan. 26 but lost his nerve and jumped out in time to see two commuter trains crash in suburban Glendale, authorities said.

Investigators said he stabbed himself and slashed his wrists after the crash, but no injuries could be seen in court Tuesday.

Alvarez also pleaded not guilty to arson. Authorities said he poured gasoline on himself before the crash in another suicide attempt, but then changed his mind.

Defense attorney Eric Chase said he believes Alvarez was suffering from an untreated mental illness. ``He was hearing voices, and he was having auditory and visual hallucinations. So there's no question that there was some mental illness,'' Chase said.

Alvarez has been receiving medication since his arrest and is now ``less suicidal,'' Chase said, adding that his client ``expresses remorse and a great deal of sorrow for the damage that was caused by his actions.''

The defendant was ordered held without bail pending a March 16 preliminary hearing to decide if there is enough evidence to try him.

Alvarez' wife, Carmelita, described her husband as an insecure man who became despondent because he believed he could not provide for his family.

He told her he intended to take his own life but had a vision that made him change his mind. ``He was there, and just out of nowhere, he basically, like, saw a light,'' she said. ``He said he felt a presence from God telling him to 'get away.'''

The first legal claim stemming from the wreck was filed Monday against the Metrolink transit agency by Rita Kay Tutino, whose husband, sheriff's Deputy James Tutino, was killed in the accident.

The claim, a required step before a lawsuit can be filed, alleged Metrolink caused Tutino's death because it used locomotives to push rather than pull the train cars.

A call to a Metrolink spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

Tutino is seeking unspecified damages.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2017 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

CSX profit up slightly on higher freight rates for quarter plagued with customer complaints
CSX announces 3Q 2017 earnings
CSX scaling back operations at North Baltimore yard
Railway safety regulations called into question at Lac-Megantic trial
FRA gives NJ Transit green light to begin testing PTC on Morristown line
1 NS contractor released from hospital after Aspinwall crash
The railroad put this Montana town on the map, but it left behind a toxic legacy
Baltimore council members propose ban on new crude oil facilities
Coal company, railroads line up against Spokane measure
Teamster leaders in U.S., Canada laud their respective NAFTA negotiators
Q&A: Railroad Retirement spouse and widow(er)sí annuities and public service pensions
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines