Man Facing Death Penalty for Fatal Crash During Police Chase

A man involved in a crash that killed two people is facing the death penalty because prosecutors say he was fleeing from police at the time.

Authorities said Abdul Malik was trying to escape after robbing a bank, and went through a stoplight on Bardstown Road, causing the crash in 2003.

Jefferson County prosecutors said Malik's actions showed an extreme indifference to human life, even if he never intended to kill anyone. But Malik's lawyer, Marc Murphy, said the case was an inappropriate use of capital punishment.

Prosecutors "want to kill somebody even though he never intended to kill anybody," Murphy said. "It's worse than an eye for an eye."

Murphy said the case could be settled before it goes to trial this week. Malik is charged with two counts of murder, robbery, wanton endangerment, being a persistent felon and other charges.

Police say Malik, who is from New York, and Charles Ervin Jr., 28, of Jamaica, N.Y., had just robbed a U.S. Bank on Nov. 24, 2003, when they were spotted by an officer and chased. Malik drove through a red light "in utter disregard of the innocent victims who had a green light," smashing into a van and killing Robert McFadden, 71, according to court records.

The crash also killed Ervin. Police believe Ervin robbed the bank and then jumped in Malik's vehicle.