LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A man charged in the killing of a research scientist from Irvine who was shot while camping with his two young daughters in Malibu Creek State Park pleaded not guilty today attacking two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies while he has been in custody.
Anthony Rauda, 45, is charged with two felony counts of battery on a peace officer involving the alleged attacks in March 2020 and last month.
At a March 24 hearing, Superior Court Judge Mark S. Arnold said he found ``more than sufficient evidence'' to require Rauda to stand trial for the alleged attacks, and rejected a request by defense attorney Kevin Avery to dismiss the charges or to reduce them to misdemeanor counts.
The charges involve a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who was allegedly punched in the jaw and suffered a wrist injury after a March 30, 2020, hearing at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse, and a sheriff's deputy who was allegedly attacked with a pencil at Men's Central Jail while Rauda was being removed from a restraint chair following a March 16 hearing in which he was ordered to be removed from court after an obscenity-laden outburst.
Both of the alleged attacks were captured on surveillance video.
At the March 16 hearing, Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo noted that Rauda -- who was brought into court in a restraint chair -- was being restrained due to ``unpredictably violent behavior.'' She subsequently instructed deputies to remove him following a verbal outburst that continued as he was wheeled out of the courtroom.
Rauda is set to go on trial in September on a charge that he murdered 35-year-old Allergan scientist Tristan Thomas Beaudette, who was shot about 4:45 a.m. June 22, 2018, while sharing a tent with his then 2- and 4-year-old daughters, who escaped injury.
He is also facing 10 counts of attempted murder -- Beaudette's daughters are among the named victims -- along with five counts of second- degree commercial burglary involving a series of crimes dating back three years.
``You'll be seeing me before that ... You sure will,'' Rauda said then of the September court date.
Rauda was initially charged in January 2019 with the crimes, then subsequently indicted in October 2019 by a Los Angeles County grand jury.
Criminal proceedings were suspended after a doubt was declared in October 2020 about his mental competence, but ordered to be reinstated last November following a determination that he was competent.
Rauda -- who could face life in prison if convicted as charged -- has a string of convictions for weapons-related offenses dating back to 2006, according to the criminal complaint filed against him in January 2019.
Prosecutors allege Rauda carried out attacks dating back to November 2016, when he allegedly wounded a man who was sleeping in a hammock in the Malibu State Park area. He allegedly fired into the sleeping area of a vehicle less than a week later.
Rauda is also charged with shooting into vehicles, but not injuring anyone, on three occasions in 2017, and shooting at a Tesla on Las Virgenes Road four days before Beaudette's killing. He is additionally accused of a series of commercial burglaries committed between July 27 and Oct. 9, 2018.
He was arrested in October 2018 after a series of large-scale manhunts in the area for a rifle-toting culprit suspected in multiple food heists in the Calabasas area, including an early morning burglary at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, where someone smashed a vending machine and stole food.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies thought the burglaries might be linked to Beaudette's killing.
Rauda was allegedly carrying a rifle when he was arrested in a ravine about a mile and a half north of Mulholland Highway west of Las Virgenes Road in the Malibu Canyon area, after deputies combing the area spotted fresh boot prints and tracked him down.
Authorities say Rauda had been captured on surveillance video in one of the crimes carrying a rifle and wearing what sheriff's investigators described as ``tactical gear.'' The suspect in all of the heists stole food, detectives said, suggesting the man was living off the grid in the wilderness, carrying out the burglaries when he needed sustenance.
He was sentenced in December 2018 to six months in jail for gun and ammunition violations, a sentence set to run consecutively with an earlier 160- day sentence for a probation violation.
In a statement released after Rauda was charged with Beaudette's slaying, the sheriff's department said evidence had been developed and gathered ``incriminating Rauda as being responsible for a series of armed burglaries, multiple shooting incidents, and the murder of Tristan Beaudette.''
``A concentrated effort by detectives to unearth the past activities of Rauda correlating with this investigation has revealed that he apparently acted alone during this identified crime spree, stretching from November 2016 to October 2018. No similar crimes have been reported in the area since the October 2018 arrest of Rauda,'' according to the statement.
Rauda remains jailed and is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom May 3 on both cases.