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Man facing murder charge intended to ‘scare’ skateboarder

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VANCOUVER, Wash. — An 18-year-old man facing a murder allegation for running over a skateboarder in Vancouver told police he didn’t mean to hit the man, court records say. He said he had intended to “scare him,” The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The victim, identified as 45-year-old William Miller, died shortly after the Wednesday incident.

Joshua Jones of Vancouver appeared Thursday via video in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree murder.

The prosecution asked that bail be set at $1 million but Jones’ attorney, Sean Downs, argued that Jones is facing an incorrect charge. He said court records indicate that Jones was driving recklessly through the parking lot and accidentally hit Miller.

Judge Jennifer Snider set Jones’ bail at $100,000.

Police were called Wednesday afternoon to a shopping center parking lot for a crash. Arriving officers found Miller pinned underneath a Hyundai Sonata.

Vancouver firefighters lifted the car off of Miller, who was unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Jones told officers he was driving through the parking lot to avoid traffic lights and as he drove past Miller, who was on a skateboard, Miller punched his driver’s-side window, he said.

Jones told police he turned his car around and accelerated toward Miller, intending to “scare him.” But when Jones swerved away, Miller jumped in the same direction, he said. The Hyundai then struck Miller, according to the affidavit.

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