BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man charged with murder in the crash that killed Arvin educator Larry Hallum told police he was suicidal and intentionally rammed the other vehicle in an effort to kill himself, according to court documents.
Marque Qualls had a blood-alcohol content of 0.18% — more than twice the legal limit — in the Feb. 15 crash that resulted in fatal injuries to Hallum, according to the documents. He’s facing charges including first-degree murder and is being held without bail.
Qualls, 26, intentionally sped up and ran a red light to hit a vehicle driven by Hallum at the intersection of Old River Road and White Lane, police said. Hallum, 79, died in April as a result of injuries received in the crash.
A records check showed Qualls was on probation for a prior DUI, documents said. He had red and watery eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol, police said in the reports.
After being taken to Kern Medical, Qualls told police he was driving a brown Cadillac Seville west on White Lane approaching Old River Road when he saw a white Ford Escape heading north. Qualls said his light turned red and he hit the gas.
“Qualls told me he had the ‘pedal to the metal’ as he entered the intersection with Old River Road because he wanted to die,” an officer wrote in the reports. Qualls told the officer he never attempted to avoid the Escape and “tried to kill himself while driving.”
“(Expletive) this life,” Qualls said according to the documents. He’s due back in court June 1.