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Teen charged in fatal crash in court as victim's family looks on | News

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Teen charged in fatal crash in court as victim's family looks on

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A former Wootton High School student charged with killing two friends in June after allegedly driving under the influence following a party was in court Friday.

The pre-trial hearing was the first court appearance for 19-year-old Sam Ellis, who faces multiple charges in connection to the deaths of 18-year-olds Alex Murk and Calvin Li.

Dozens of grief-stricken family members and friends of Murk packed the courtroom as Ellis said nothing. 

"We don’t have Alex. We know he’s never coming back and to live with that is just incredibly painful," David Murk, Alex Murk's father, said. 

Dad at party that led to N. Potomac fatal crash pleads guilty

Murk and Li were killed in the June 25 crash on Dufief Mill Road. Ellis was behind the wheel, coming from a party where police say there was drinking, mostly by people underage.

Investigators believe speed and alcohol both played a role in the fatal crash.

"I get out of bed for my two remaining sons every day. That’s probably the only reason I leave my house. I couldn’t live without my friends, my husband," Pam Murk said. 

Friday was the first time the Murks have seen Ellis since the crash.

"It’s kind of a surreal thing to see him. It was the first time we’ve seen him since the accident. It’s hard because he’s alive. My son is not," David Murk said, 

The family has gone through times since the crash, leaning on their family and friends for support.

"I got a letter last week from one of Alex’s girls he dated in middle school. She goes to the University of Texas now and he gave her a necklace for Valentine’s Day and she sent it back," Pam Murk said. 

RELATEDTeen charged in N. Potomac crash that killed 2 students

Ellis faces two counts of manslaughter by motor vehicle and two counts of homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. He’s also charged with causing a life-threatening injury while under the influence of alcohol for the injuries suffered by Cameron Siasi, the front seat passenger who survived the crash. 

Ellis’ lawyer who declined to comment to WUSA9 about the case, but did confirm his client remains out on bond until his trial in April. If convicted, Ellis faces up to 20 years in prison.

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