(Memphis) One of two men charged in a deadly drag racing accident over the weekend faced a judge Monday morning.
Twenty-year-old Christopher Loftis is charged with Reckless Driving, Vehicular Homicide and Drag Racing.
Suspect Ontario Brown Jr. is facing the same charges and remains in the prison ward.
According to court documents, Brown and Loftis were drag racing along Air Park Drive Sunday morning when Brown’s car struck a car belonging to Jessie Moore.
Police reported Moore had just finished a race of his own and was killed. Loftis’ car was struck in the accident.
“Very traumatized. He is not familiar with this system. It’s his first experience in it,” said Loftis’ attorney William Massey outside of court Monday.
“We entered a plea of not guilty this morning and we are beginning to conduct out investigation,” added Massey.
Memphis Police spokeswoman Sgt. Alyssa Macon-Moore said that they’ve had problems with drag racing in the Air Park area before.
Those problems usually occur during the summer months.
“We addressed it through undercover details in which OCU officers were utilized and continuous directed patrols,” said Macon-Moore.
“Citizens are urged to notify police when they observe motorists drag racing in any area of the city. Obviously, it can lead to very dangerous consequences including injury and fatal traffic crashes,” Macon-Moore added.
Jessie Moore’s family visited the scene of the accident Sunday and called for the city to do more to stop the racing.
“It’s going to stop one way or the other. If the city doesn’t stop it, I’ll stop it. I’ll block this whole road off. I don’t care,” said Moore’s father Harold Moore.
Drag Racing is only a misdemeanor charge. However if the suspects are found guilty of vehicular homicide, it could mean mandatory jail time.
“Vehicular homicide if it’s just a reckless situation, if you’re going 100 mph, it’s a C felony punishable by 3 to 6 years,” said District Attorney General Amy Weirich.
The affidavit said that both men were driving close to twice the speed limit when the accident happened.