A 25-year-old man from Kent accused of organizing illegal street racing and drifting events was charged on Tuesday with being an accomplice to a drive-by homicide in connection with the deaths of two women who were struck during a an event in Auburn last year.
Jerick Judd was arrested on Tuesday morning and taken to Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, prison records show. King County prosecutors say Judd would be the first person charged in King County with two counts of driving homicide for hosting events and Instagramming event locations, including the November 27 event that resulted in the death a few days later of two women who were hit by a driver who lost control of his friend’s silver Chevrolet Camaro.
Judd is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond and prosecutors have asked that he be banned from using social media if he were to be released from jail, court records show. The charges against him note that he has been cited, arrested or warned by police on several occasions since June 2020 for his participation in illegal races.
“Even now, Judd is undeterred by the deaths. Judd continues to engage in the promotion and organization of apparently illegal street racing,” Senior Assistant District Attorney Gary Ernsdorff wrote in the charges, adding that Judd had recently shared a flier on social media for an event in the Kent on September 24.
Court records do not yet indicate which attorney is representing Judd.
The charges, citing the State Accomplices Liability Act, allege that Judd “solicited, ordered, encouraged or requested” another person to drive a vehicle recklessly, and that the reckless driving of a vehicle was an immediate cause of the fatal injuries sustained by Kelly. Acosta, 23, and Makenna Heustis, 19.
After the November event in Auburn, Camaro driver Rondale Hendricks was charged in December with two counts of homicide while driving a vehicle following the deaths of Acosta and Heustis at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Hendricks, 20, a soldier assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was also charged with making a false or misleading statement to an official, accused of initially telling Auburn police that the owner of the Camaro was driving at the time of the collision before turning around. in, say the indictment papers.
Hendricks was briefly jailed before being released on personal bail and he pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was arraigned last year, court records show. His trial is due to begin on December 7. An email sent to his defense attorney requesting comment on the case did not receive an immediate response.
Auburn police investigated the case against Hendricks while Washington State Patrol, with assistance from Auburn and Kent police, conducted the investigation against Judd, court records show. and a press release issued Tuesday by the prosecutor’s office.
It was raining and the pavement was wet when a group of drivers and spectators gathered in a large loading dock area between two warehouses in the 3700 block of I Street Northwest in Auburn around 10 p.m. on November 27, according to the charges. brought against Hendricks. .
Driving the Camaro, Hendricks “intentionally accelerated in a circle causing the traction to break and the rear tires to spin” when he lost control and hit three women who were standing or walking in front of the car, according to the charges. Two women were seriously injured and later died, but the third did not need medical attention.
In the case against Judd, a state trooper wrote that “drifting,” also known as “swaying,” is “a dangerous activity in which the driver of a vehicle intentionally accelerates their vehicle and oversteers. in sharp turns or in circles, which causes the rear of the vehicle to lose traction and spin around.
Usually staged on social media, organizers will distribute a list of numerous locations, with attendees moving from location to location in a bid to thwart police, the charges say. Many street racing or drifting events repeatedly use the same locations.
After the deaths of Acosta and Heustis, the State Patrol began investigating the increase in takeover events in general, and the Nov. 27 event in Auburn, in particular, according to the charges.
Using searches for direct messages on Instagram, investigators connected Judd to two accounts that were used to send out a list of locations and a flyer advertising the Nov. 27 event, according to billing documents. Two email addresses and a cell phone on file with the Instagram account belong to Judd, the charges say, which note that he used the same phone number twice to call 911 and identified himself as the caller.
In the hours leading up to the Auburn event, investigators found that Hendricks and Judd had exchanged direct messages and Judd had sent Hendricks a list of locations, including the location of the fatal collision, according to the charges.
In early December, Judd’s Instagram account was used to promote another illegal street event. When someone messaged him, asking why he was going ahead with the event after saying he was going to keep a low profile following the death of one of the victims, Judd replied that the event had already been planned and that he didn’t want to cancel it at the last minute, according to the charges. He wrote that he would not drive his own car.