A Bethalto man who allegedly drove into a group of people in an Alton parking lot Sunday, killing one, now faces multiple murder charges.
Caleb Lenhardt, 21, of Bethalto, was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of failure to report a traffic crash involving injury or death, and one count of aggravated battery.
Alton Police said in a statement Sunday that the car was driven into a group of people in a parking lot in the 400 block of Belle Street at about 3 a.m. Sunday. The charges filed Monday in Madison County court state that he drove at a high rate of speed at Katie Bunt, 21, and others in the parking lot.
Bunt was taken to an area hospital but died of her injuries. Ashely Allgood, 25, was taken to an area hospital for treatment, but her condition was not available, according to a statement from the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.
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The driver allegedly fled the scene in his car, then on foot, and was located by an Alton Police K-9 unit, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said Alton Police found “a brutal intent to cause death and destruction. In a matter of seconds, so many young lives were devastated and damaged forever.”
Police did not release a motive for the incident but said it appeared Lenhardt was acquainted with the people in the crowd.
“Our response to these terrible acts must be strong and decisive, seeking to bring justice for the victims and their loved ones, as well as for our whole community,” Gibbons said. “I ask everyone to support and pray for the victims and their families — especially the family of Katie Bunt — as they seek to recover from this terrible tragedy.”
Lenhardt remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail. Penalties range up to 20-60 years in prison on the murder charges, of which Lenhardt would be required to serve 100 percent of his sentence.