John Dungan made his first court appearance Friday morning on murder charges connected with the fatal vehicle crash that killed Vanessa Bley and her two young children in October.
Mr. Dungan, 28, appeared before Judge Clifford Anderson in the Santa Barbara County Superior Court Figueroa Division.
Deputy Public Defender Mindi Boulet represented Mr. Dungan for his arraignment on behalf of the Public Defender’s Office. She relieved his previous defense attorney, William Makler.
Ms. Boulet asked to continue Mr. Dungan’s arraignment to Nov. 20. He remains in County Jail custody without bail.
Mr. Dungan also has a stalking case pending in Superior Court. It was continued to the same date.
On Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office charged Mr. Dungan with three counts of murder with an enhancement for committing crimes while out on bail.
During a press conference Thursday, California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Capt. Cindy Pontes said a CHP investigation has determined Mr. Dungan intentionally drove his vehicle into the opposite lane of traffic in the head-on crash that killed Ms. Bley and her children, 2-year-old Lucienne Gleason and 4r-month-old Desmond Gleason.
“This incident was 100 percent intentional in our opinion, based on the evidence that we have,” said Capt. Pontes.
The crash occurred at approximately 4:45 p.m. Oct. 25 on State Route 154 just east of the Cold Spring Canyon Bridge.
Ms. Bley, 34, was traveling east on the 154 when her vehicle was struck head on by a Chevy Camaro driven by Mr. Dungan.
The crash caused a GMC Yukon to hit Ms. Bley’s vehicle, causing a brush fire.
Mr. Dungan suffered critical injuries in the crash and was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He was released from the hospital Tuesday evening and arrested.