UPDATED: Man Accused of Killing Motorist Outside Banning High School Due in Court

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

BANNING (CNS) – Because he’s in the process of changing attorneys, arraignment was postponed Friday for a 19-year-old man accused of gunning down a young motorist as the victim drove past Banning High School, where a graduation ceremony was underway.

Daveyon Dickee Lee Woodley of Banning was arrested last month, minutes after the alleged attack in front of the campus.

Woodley is charged with first-degree murder, a special-circumstance allegation of lying in wait, discharging a firearm in a school zone and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

The defendant was slated to be arraigned Friday before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Joshlyn Pulliam, but at the outset of the hearing, the court was informed Woodley was retaining a private attorney and no longer wished to be represented by a public defender.

Pulliam scheduled a confirmation of counsel hearing for June 29, when the defendant’s arraignment is also expected to go forward at the Banning Justice Center.

He remains held without bail at the nearby Smith Correctional Facility.

According to the Banning Police Department, about 5:30 p.m. on May 31, Woodley, wearing a mask and clad in dark-colored clothing, positioned himself near the entrance to the high school on Westward Avenue, where a charter school was holding a graduation ceremony, with several Banning police officers assigned to the campus as security.

“One of the officers witnessed (the) suspect … shooting into a black sedan that was traveling eastbound on Westward, in front of the high school,” the police department said in a statement. “The sedan collided into a light pole and came to a stop, and the suspect ran from the location, as the witnessing officer gave chase.”

The lawman requested medical aid for the victim driving the sedan, later identified as 20-year-old Austin House of Cabazon, and continued pursuing Woodley, police said.

Paramedics reached the location minutes later and pronounced House dead at the scene. No one else was injured.

Additional police officers converged on the area and joined the pursuing officer in searching for the gunman,  authorities said.

“After an extensive search, officers located the suspect hiding underneath a vehicle parked inside of a garage of a nearby residence,” the police department stated, adding that he was taken into custody without incident. “While searching adjacent properties, a loaded handgun was located just outside of the garage Woodley was found hiding in.”

A possible motive for the alleged attack was not disclosed.

The defendant has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.


Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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