Cops: Driver in Fatal Crash Blames Satan

A suburban Detroit man has been charged with murder in a fatal automobile crash, and police say the man told them Satan made him do it.

Joel Pudell, 34, of Redford Township, was arraigned Friday night on six charges, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter, as well as three counts of assault with intent to commit murder for the other people endangered in the intersection. If he is convicted of one of the murder counts, he could face life in prison.

Pudell stood silent through the arraignment. His attorney entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf, but police officers who took him into custody following the crash on Thursday said he told them another story.

According to police, Pudell said he deliberately ran a red light in his 1992 Eagle Talon and accelerated before he crashed into a car driven by Dustin Rose, 25, of Ferndale.

Rose was pronounced dead on arrival at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

"It is very tragic particularly when this young man was just driving, minding his own business through a solid green light and he was struck by an individual who disregarded a red light," Troy Police Lt. Steve Zavislak said.

Pudell's car then struck a 1992 Ford Probe, which crashed into a light pole in the center median. His car was stopped when it was hit by a 2001 GMC Jimmy and crashed into a tree. Neither Pudell nor any other of the drivers were seriously injured in the series of collisions.

After he was arrested, Pudell said that Satan was the one in the driver's seat, police said.

"The driver responsible stated that he did it intentionally, that Satan told him to do it," said Troy Police Sgt. Bob Redmond.

Smoking a Lot of Marijuana

He allegedly told police Thursday night that he deliberately accelerated, "to see how many people I could kill."

"Yes, I tried to kill them, my friends were cheering me on. I wanted to kill myself so I can live forever. I didn't want to hit kids or old people. I was aiming for people who are middle-aged," Pudell allegedly said.

He allegedly told police that he had been smoking marijuana "today, every every day, and a lot," and said that he himself was Satan.

When the interrogating officers asked him about reports that he had been driving erratically before the fatal crash, he allegedly told them he had been driving in and out of the left-turn lanes trying to kill people.

He is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric exam on Dec. 16.

ABCNEWS affiliate WXYZ in Detroit contributed to this report.

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