Triple fatal collision suspects charged with felony murder

Triple fatal collision suspects charged with felony murder

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Dominique Rashad Smith and Jeffery Howe. Source: Birmingham Police Department Dominique Rashad Smith and Jeffery Howe. Source: Birmingham Police Department
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Jefferson County DA Brandon Falls announced Thursday that the two suspects in Monday's triple fatal collision in north Birmingham will be charged with felony murder.

Dominique Rashad Smith, 20, and Jeffery Howe, 18, both of Mulga, are charged with three counts each of first degree murder after authorities say they killed a family of three after colliding with their car.

Birmingham police Sgt. Johnny Williams says that both men are being held at the Birmingham City Jail. Howe is being held on a $750,000 bond and Smith is being held on a $225,000 bond.

Smith and Howe are accused in several crimes that occurred Monday, Oct. 1. Cordova Police Chief Kenneth Bobo says that the two men robbed an elderly couple as they returned to their home on Long Avenue. When the 77-year-old husband refused to give up his wallet, Bobo says one of the men hit him in the head with a gun.

After the robbery, Bobo says the two men fled in a white SUV through Dora and Adamsville. Some time after that, a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy recognized their vehicle from a BOLO and started to give chase. However, authorities say that as the deputy tried to make a u-turn to follow, he overturned in a ditch.

Smith and Howe reportedly continued on to the intersection of Minor Parkway and Birmingport Road, where police say they collided with a car at the traffic light. Inside that car was Nicole Verus, Ryan Culwell and their 10-month-old daughter Rogue Culwell. All three died in the collision.

Witnesses to the accident as well as authorities say that after the wreck, Smith and Howe exited their white SUV and fled on foot from the scene.

A manhunt for the two suspects began Monday night and ended Tuesday evening. Smith reportedly turned himself into Cooper Green Tuesday for treatment of injuries from the collision. Howe was taken into custody at a home in Ensley. A third man was taken into custody at the same home and has been charged with hindering prosecution.

Check back to MyFoxAl.com for more information as this story develops.

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