The man accused of plowing into four Pepperdine University students in his BMW in Malibu has claimed he was being chased in the lead up to the horror crash.
Fraser Bohm, 22, initially faced vehicular manslaughter charges before being re-arrested Tuesday on four counts of murder, for the deaths of Niamh Rolston, 20, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams, all 21.
At his hearing Wednesday, Bohm pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, and claimed he was trying to evade someone aggressively chasing him, which led him to lose control of his 2016 BMW.
Bohm, who has no previous criminal record, had his bail lowered from $8 million to $4 million in the hearing, which was attended by several family members who appeared to console each other as they left the courtroom.
The star baseball player allegedly lost control of his vehicle while driving along the Pacific Coast Highway on October 17 – the night after his 22nd birthday – before colliding with parked vehicles while the college seniors stood nearby.
All four were pronounced dead at the scene, and Bohm was initially released after he was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter ‘to allow detectives time to gather the evidence needed to secure the strongest criminal filing and conviction’, officials said.
After the court proceedings came to a close, Bohm’s relatives, some of whom live with him in a lavish $8 million Malibu sea cliff mansion, were seen huddled with their arms around each other as they left the courthouse.
Fraser Bohm, 22, who allegedly mowed into and killed four Pepperdine University seniors with his BMW in Malibu, was in court Wednesday after being charged with murder
Bohms family pictured leaving the courthouse on Wednesday, where he had his bail reduced from $8 million to $4 million
The alleged killer’s relatives were seen huddled together with their arms around each other after the 22-year-old made his first court appearance since the tragedy
Niamh Ralston (left) was one of four Pepperdine University students killed when a BMW crashed into a parked car and then hit them in Malibu on Tuesday night, while Peyton Stewart (right) recently completed a sought after internship at TikTok
Desilyn Williams (left) a native of Georgia, pictured on her LinkedIn page and Asha Weir (right) was due to graduate from the Seaver College of Liberal Arts in the Spring
Tributes have poured in for the four Pepperdine seniors after they lost their lives on the perilous strip of road, which has earned a reputation as a dangerous highway and earned monikers ‘Blood Alley’ and ‘Dead Man’s Curve.’
The 6’4, 190lbs former standout high school athlete, who was uninjured in the crash, allegedly slammed his BMW into a row of parked cars while the students waited near a Pepperdine frat house.
Witnesses claimed Bohm tried to flee the scene immediately after the collision before he was apprehended by stunned onlookers.
Footage obtained by KTLA from the night of the crash showed a grim-faced Bohm being given a sobriety test by cops while the mangled remains of his red BMW are seen being towed away.
In a press release after Bohm’s charged were escalated to murder, investigators said the development came after toxicology and speed analysis was done and search warrants were issued.
Exclusive AlertContent.com photographs illustrate the dangers of the sharp bend where the crash took place, while furious Malibu residents slammed city officials at a hostile town meeting on Monday to demand safety upgrades to the highway.
‘How many more deaths before something is done?’ one tearful resident told the Malibu City Council at the meeting. The road has been the scene of 49 fatal collisions in the last decade.
The Pacific Coast Highway, the stretch of road where the horror crash took place, has earned a reputation as a perilous stretch. There have been 49 people killed on the road in 10 years
L-R Victims Asha Weir, Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, and Deslyn Williams are pictured enjoying a meal together with friends just weeks before they were mowed down and killed
Flowers were placed at the scene of the crash for the four Pepperdine seniors who were killed
Traces of the accident can still be seen at the scene, including what appears to be blood on a wall
While it is unclear what Bohm now does for a living, video unearthed by AlertContent.com show he was a highly rated high school pitcher and played for Oaks Christian School before he graduated.
The private $31,250-a-year college prep school near Los Angeles counts Sofia Richie and Mariel Hemingway’s model daughter Dree among its alumni.
AlertContent.com previously revealed the speeding car that killed the four seniors was purchased by Bohm’s mother Brooke, 57, using a down payment of $25,000 in 2017 – with the remaining installments paid by his dad Chris, 59.
According to a settlement that concluded the couple’s 2018 divorce and obtained exclusively by AlertContent.com, the vehicle was gifted to Bohm on his 18th birthday.
The settlement also reveals details of his family’s lavish lifestyle – including the secluded Malibu gated ‘estate’ Bohm’s mother ended up with in the divorce.
His lavish estate is said to sit in a ‘celebrity enclave’ and includes a bespoke chef’s kitchen and terraced gardens.
The house was put up for sale in late September for $9,750,000 but within a week the price had been reduced to $8,795,000.
Bohm is the youngest of three siblings. His sisters Hunter, 25, and Haiden, 24, also live at the home along with their photographer mother.
AlertContent.com previously revealed the speeding car that killed the four seniors was purchased by Bohm’s mother Brooke, 57, using a down payment of $25,000 in 2017 – with the remaining bill paid in installments by his dad Christopher, 59
Bohm still lives at home at his $8.7m Malibu gated ‘estate’, which was handed to Bohm’s mother in his parents’ divorce
Sisters Haiden, 24, and Hunter, 25, also live at the family’s $8.7million Malibu home along with their photographer mother and former baseball star brother
In a statement released on Wednesday, Pepperdine president Jim Gash confirmed the identities of the four women and said he had been left heartbroken by the accident.
‘To the students who loved, lived with, and were in community with the departed members of our Pepperdine family, my heart is broken with yours,’ the statement read.
‘I join you in your grief as we process this profound loss.’
Vice President for Student Affairs Connie Horton added: ‘In this time of immeasurable grief and heartache, we stand together as a community and turn to our faith and each other to find hope and healing in the midst of this tragedy.
‘Each departed student brought a unique gift and spirit to the University, and we deeply grieve the unfulfilled hopes and aspirations of our precious community members.’
A memorial service for all four victims was held at the school’s Malibu campus on Thursday morning.