Placer Jury Finds Auburn Man guilty of Two Counts of Murder
PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - A Placer County Jury found Phillip Ingram, 64, of Auburn guilty today of two counts of Second Degree Murder in relation to the death of Jared Gaches and Trevor Keller, both 15, from Auburn. Ingram was accused of being impaired by the sleep aid Ambien in the afternoon of April 3, 2016. The evidence presented at trial showed that Ingram, while driving on Dry Creek Road in Auburn, struck a vehicle and continued driving onto Highway 49 and eventually veered off the road hitting and killing the two teenage boys. There was also evidence presented of Ingram’s prior conviction for driving under the influence in April of 2000. This, along with other evidence, demonstrated Ingram’s knowledge of and disregard for the danger of driving while impaired which justified the Second Degree Murder charges and conviction.
The jury disregarded Ingram’s claim that he accidently took the Ambien thinking it was his blood pressure medication, he claimed he was in a parasomnia state and had no recollection of what had occurred. Deputy District Attorney Robert Lopez argued that Ingram’s claims at trial were nothing more than an attempt to create a defense to avoid responsibility for the murder of the two teenage boys. Lopez appreciated the jury’s verdicts and their ability see through the defendant’s attempt to excuse his behavior. Lopez added that while many people realize the dangers of drinking alcohol and driving, they too often forget that driving on prescription medication, like the Ambien in this case, can have the same tragic results. Mr. Ingram’s failure to respect this fact cost two families, and our community, two loved and wonderful children.
The Defendant is being held without bail pending sentencing. He is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Charles Wachob on August 24, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. in Department 42 of the Placer County Superior Court. The defendant is facing 15 years to life for each murder count.