Man Ordered to Stand Trial in Shooting of Sheriff's Deputy

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An ex-con who has already been sentenced to death for the murder of a Northern California woman was ordered today to stand trial for allegedly shooting and wounding a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in a gun battle in South El Monte almost a decade ago.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Fields rejected the defense's request to dismiss the case against Darnell Keith Washington, now 34, who is charged with attempted murder for the Sept. 2, 2012, shotgun attack on Deputy John Marquez.

Washington is also charged with a carjacking and attempted carjacking nearby the same day, along with a count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The criminal complaint says he was convicted in 2005 of robbery and carjacking in Los Angeles County.

Washington and his wife, Tania Le June Washington, were arrested near Seattle in October 2012 following an alleged monthlong crime spree that authorities said included a jail break from San Bernardino County and the Oct. 5, 2012, stabbing death of retired schoolteacher Susie Ko in the Contra Costa County community of Hercules.

During the couple's arrest, police in Washington state also recovered the stolen Subaru Outback that had been missing following the 55-year-old woman's killing, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Washington was sentenced to death in November 2016 after being convicted of Ko's murder.

He was subsequently sent to Los Angeles County to face prosecution for the alleged crimes in September 2012.

The sheriff's deputy told investigators that Washington stepped out of a white Ford Explorer, leveled a shotgun at him and fired a blast at Marquez in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant after the deputy stopped to check on what he considered a suspicious vehicle, according to sheriff's Detective Kevin Acebedo, who was one of two witnesses called during the hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

Washington allegedly fired another shotgun blast at the deputy, who returned fire and subsequently identified the defendant in a ``six-pack'' of photos of potential suspects, the detective testified.

The deputy -- who was struck by multiple shotgun pellets -- was released later that day from the hospital, according to the detective.

Washington is also accused of carjacking a Volkswagen Golf from a woman who had been outside her home and of trying to carjack a Toyota Camry from a man who was driving in the area.

He remains jailed while awaiting arraignment April 27.

Washington's wife pleaded no contest to lesser charges and was sentenced to state prison.

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