District Attorney Brandon Falls announces murder charges against - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Felony murder charges announced for two suspects in Monday's fatal car accident

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Dominique Rashad Smith (Left) and Jeffrey Howe (Right) Dominique Rashad Smith (Left) and Jeffrey Howe (Right)
Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls announcing the murder charges on Thursday. Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls announcing the murder charges on Thursday.
LaJuan Dontell McNeal shown being arrested in Ensley on Tuesday. (abc3340.com) LaJuan Dontell McNeal shown being arrested in Ensley on Tuesday. (abc3340.com)

Two suspects have been charged with felony murder for their roles in Monday's fatal car accident that killed a family of three, including a 10-month-old girl.

Jeffrey Howe, 18, and Dominique Rashad Smith, 20, each face three felony counts of murder for the deaths of 20-year-old Ryan Max Culwell, 23-year-old Amber Nicole Veras and their infant daughter Rogue Marie Culwell.

Officials believe that Smith was the driver of the SUV involved in a police chase that slammed into the victim's car at the intersection of Birmingport Road and Minor Parkway.  Police say Smith ran a red light in his attempt to escape capture, causing the fatal accident.  All three victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Smith surrendered to police on Tuesday before being transported to Cooper Green Hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in the accident.

His passenger in the accident, Howe, was taken into custody later that day after Birmingham's Crime Reduction Team paired with Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force Agents to enter an Ensley home where he and another suspect were found hiding in a closet.

Howe's bond has been set at $75,000 while Smith's bond is $225,000.

The suspect arrested alongside Howe in Ensley, LaJuan Dontell McNeal, was not involved in the wreck but was charged on Wednesday with hindering prosecution.  His bond was set at $15,000.

 

 

 

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