The two North Philadelphia men charged in the horrific June 10 car crash in Feltonville that killed a young mother and three children were held for trial on murder charges this afternoon by a Philadelphia judge.
Donta Cradock, 18, of Feltonville, and Ivan Rodriguez, 20, of Hunting Park, will face trial on charges of second- and third-degree murder and homicide by motor vehicle, ruled Municipal Court Judge David C. Shuter.
Shuter also held both for trial on firearms and carjacking charges involving the gunpoint theft of a motorcycle that preceded the crash by about five minutes.
Cradock and Rodriguez, who are stepbrothers, are charged in the crash at Third and Annsbury Streets that killed Latoya Smith, 22, and her daughter, Remedy Smith, 1; and two neighborhood girls, Gina Marie Rosario, 7, and her friend Aaliyah Griffin, 6.
The four victims were on the sidewalk talking at 7:36 p.m., police said, when Cradock, speeding in his Pontiac Grand Am after being stopped by police, plowed into the group.
Among the witnesses who testified during the emotional 2-1/2 hour preliminary hearing was the first police officer who arrived at the scene hortly after the crash.
Officer Abraham Matos-Wild broke down and wept as he described the chaos and carnage where Cradock's car had run down the four victims: "The little mangled bodies and limbs. . . That scene has never been erased from my mind."
The preliminary hearing for the two men had been delayed until now because Cradock was injured in the wreckage of his car and is now paralyzed below the waist.
Minutes before the crash, authorities allege that Cradock and Rodriguez robbed a man of his motorcycle in the 5400 block of Rising Sun Avenue. Cradock left the scene in the Pontiac and Rodriguez on the motorcycle.
At Third Street and Roosevelt Boulevard, Cradock spotted a police officer who had stopped behind him and was approaching the car. Police say Cradock sped down Third Street, jumped the curb just south of Annsbury and ran into Smith and the three children.