Judge Michael T. Smyth said that Lance Cpl. Jason Riley King, 21, a Marine at MCAS Miramar with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, will be tried in the deaths of Anne Li Baldock, 24, and Madison Elizabeth Cornwell, 23, both of whom had just completed their second year of medical school. King is charged with two counts of murder while intoxicated and five charges of felony DUI causing injury.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the women and three other medical students were in a 2014 Toyota Prius driven by Cornwell. The car was struck at a high rate of speed by King's 2000 Ford F350 at about 1:30 a.m. as he headed south on the northbound side of the 163 in Mission Valley. The other med students and King were also injured.
On the night of May 15, according to Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright, King was drinking with some Marines at a Mission Beach hotel and left to do more drinking at a Mission Valley bar despite his friends' efforts to get him to stay at the hotel.
The manager at a local bar tried to stop him and one of his fellow Marines tried to take away his keys, but both attempts were unsuccessful.
King, whose blood-alcohol level was .14 at the time of the crash, was arraigned in his hospital room May 20. He has been held in lieu of $3 million bail.
Cornwell had planned to treat malnourished children in Africa. Baldock was interested in neuroscience and was doing neurological research.
King faces 47 years to life in prison if convicted. He is due back in court July 8.