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Voss

Akarsh Cholaveti. PCSO photo

The Tempe man charged with manslaughter in the October deaths of Maricopa teenagers Michael and Matthew Voss was arraigned in court Friday morning.

Akarsh Cholaveti, 26, pled not guilty to two counts of manslaughter in addition to one count of aggravated assault and three counts of endangerment in front of Judge Lawrence Wharton Jan. 26.

A grand jury indicted Cholaveti on those charges one month earlier on Dec. 27 in a Pinal County Superior Courtroom.

The grand jury accused Cholaveti of manslaughter by “recklessly causing the deaths” of the Voss brothers Oct. 29. It charged the defendant with one count of aggravated assault “by causing (another passenger) serious physical injury; a broken arm.”  The endangerment charges allege Cholaveti “recklessly endangered” three additional passengers “with a substantial risk of imminent death.”

Police in Maricopa County arrested Cholaveti on a warrant Jan. 17. The defendant later posted a $125,000 bond and was released from Pinal County custody the following day.

Cholaveti’s next day in court is March 13 at 9 a.m. for a pre-trial hearing.

Oct. 29, the Voss family was driving to their home in Thunderbird Farms from church. As they drove west on Papago Road, police said Cholaveti, driving a 2017 black Acura sedan north on Ralston Road, failed to stop at the Papago intersection and drove through the roadway, causing a rollover collision.

Michael Voss, 17, and Matthew Voss, 16, both in wheelchairs, were ejected from the family’s minivan and later died at the hospital after being airlifted from the accident.

Friends and family erected a roadside memorial soon after with candles and stones on the ground arranged in the shape of a heart. Nov. 11, Faith Baptist Church hosted a public memorial at Sequoia Pathway Academy.

Their father, Nathan Voss, declined to comment for this story, but he previously published a prayer on social media

“The 16 and 17 years we got to raise them, we got to watch them grow. And mature. And smile. Those years are so precious and memory-filled, and now those years are over. You have chosen to take them home. To bless them with new, glorious, disease-free bodies.”

Roadside memorial for the Voss brothers at the accident site. Photo by Michelle Chance