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Teen is bound over for trial in fatal crash

Mark A. Mora, the 17-year-old driver police say smashed into a car and killed two young men in April, has been bound over for trial.

Mora previously was waived into district court. Legal proceedings will take place treating him as an adult in 2nd District Court in Ogden.

After hearing the evidence presented to the court, 2nd District Judge Scott Hadley on Wednesday ruled that there was probable cause that three felonies had taken place and were committed by Mora.

Both defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed that three misdemeanors will be included in the case.

Police said Mora and a passenger, Andrew Michael Gomez, 21, were in a Cadillac that was fleeing from police on April 22. Officers had tried to stop the vehicle Mora was driving because they suspected Mora and Gomez, who are known gang members, had been involved in a recent home burglary.

But Mora sped off, with police in pursuit, and ended up running a red light at the intersection of 28th Street and Washington Boulevard, crashing into a vehicle carrying Blake Strebel, 19, and Derek Jasper, 18, according to law enforcement officials.

The crash instantly killed both Strebel, a Weber State University student, and Jasper, who was anticipating a mission call from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints within a week. The two young men were roommates and co-workers at a Domino's Pizza. They were headed home after playing basketball. Strebel also had plans for an LDS mission and eventually a career in law enforcement, according to family members.

Meanwhile, Mora was incapacitated inside the Cadillac at the crash site. Gomez ran away but was soon was captured by police in a nearby parking lot.

Mora is charged with two counts of automobile homicide and one count of failing to stop at a police officer's command, all second-degree felonies.

He also is charged with driving on a suspended license and using plates registered to someone else, both class C misdemeanors, and driving without insurance, a class B misdemeanor.

Mora's next court appearance is Sept. 29.

e-mail: lindat@desnews.com