1-year-old dies from crash injuries

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Suspect Shawn Bender is charged with two counts of murder and four counts of aggravated assault.</span></div>
July 17, 2008 8:54:59 AM PDT
It was a horrific scene on the Boulevard where the two cars ended up in a firey mess against a concrete barrier.

Thursday morning at about 3:30 a.m., 1-year-old girl who was injured in the accident died from her injuries according to police.

The charges against Shawn Bender now include two counts of murder and four counts of aggravated assault.

Police say it started at Devereaux and the Boulevard where Bender met his girlfriend, 16-year-old Jaleesa Hall to exchange custody of their one year old daughter.

An argument erupted and Jaleesa left with the baby. Her sister's boyfriend, 17-year-old Charles Johnson was at the wheel.

Police say Bender followed in his car and rammed the rear bumper of the other car several times. They say he finally sent both cars spinning out of control.

Johnson was killed, Jaleesa Hall, her daughter, her sister Cassandra, and her cousin, Emerald Dustin are all in critical condition, as is Bender.

Charles Johnson's family gathered to console each other at his home in West Philadelphia. He was studying to be an electrical engineer. They say he was a jolly kid who answered a call to help out a friend last night. His girlfriend's sister needed a ride to get her baby.

"He always helped somebody if they needed help; I don't know if that's a curse now or what," Deborah Johnson, the victim's mother, said.

Shawn Bender will be transferred to a jail cell as soon as he is well enough to leave the hospital. He has a prior criminal record. Police say they found guns in both of the cars involved in the crash.

Police shut down the Boulevard for several hours, to investigate the crash.


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