SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A man who allegedly drove his Tesla over a cliff in an attempt to kill his family faced arraignment today, according to documents obtained by KRON4.
Dharmesh Patel, 41, of Pasadena was charged with attempted murder by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office and booked into jail. The four-page complaint lists the victims as Confidential Victim, 7-year-old Jane Doe, and 4-year-old John Doe. Though their identities were withheld in the complaint, the DA’s Office has previously confirmed that those in vehicle were Patel’s wife and children .
The complaint alleges that Patel attempted a willful, deliberate and premeditated murder against the “Confidential Victim,” which is a felony. Enhancements listed in the first charge include domestic violence for domestic violence and great bodily injury. The same charges applied for each of the children in the vehicle.
KRON On is streaming now
In a press conference on Monday, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe addressed media about why the charges were filed.
“We have concluded that the evidence supports the fact that he intentionally drove his vehicle over that cliff, and thereby, obviously endangering not just his wife and two children, but also his own life,” Wagstaffe said. “By some miracle that I don’t understand, all of them have survived.”
The case went to court in front of Judge Jeffrey Finnigan on Monday, Josh Bentley served as Patel’s defense attorney. A plea is expected to be entered on Feb. 9. at 1:30 p.m. Patel will be held under no bail status as the case moves forward.
Patel could see as many as seven years to life in prison for each count of felony attempted murder, according to Wagstaffe. The DA went on to describe the case against Patel as a “potential life in prison case.”
While the Tesla is still being evaluated for any mechanical issues, Wagstaffe told reporters that video evidence is supporting the case, along with a statement provided by Patel’s wife. “She did make a statement,” Wagstaffe said. He clarified that investigators have not spoken to her further because she is still in the hospital being treated for injuries sustained in the crash.
“We don’t know the motive, that is the big question right now, but we will continue to look into that, why he would do this,” Wagstaffe said.
Additional reporting by Amy Larson.