"We believe the evidence will show him intentionally driving his family off a cliff with the intent to kill them."
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Dharmesh Patel, a Pasadena man accused of intentionally driving his family off Devil's Slide cliff in Northern California, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges in a Redwood City courthouse on Thursday.
Patel faces three counts of attempted murder after allegedly driving his wife and two children off the cliff in early January.
"He is charged with three counts of pre-meditated and deliberate attempted murder," said San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean Gallagher. "We believe the evidence will show him intentionally driving his family off a cliff with the intent to kill them."
According to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, evidence shows there were no signs of braking or skid marks before Patel drove the car over the cliff. He also says there are cameras near Tom Lantos Tunnels that show the Tesla coming out of a tunnel and over the cliff.
Investigators called the family's survival a miracle. During the time of the crash, their car suffered significant damage and the family was transported to the hospital for treatment.
Firefighters were forced to cut the family, including Patel's 41-year-old wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, out of the wreckage.
The judge ordered Patel to have no contact with his family. Gallagher says they pushed for the no contact because this case involves domestic violence.
"We think it is prudent for the victims and the integrity of the case there be no contact between them and the defendant," he said.
In court, one witness asked to not press charges.
If convicted on the three attempted murder charges with special circumstances, Patel could get life in prison for allegedly trying to kill his family.
Patel's next court date is set for March 20.