A Southern California couple has been charged with murder in connection with the brutal killing of retired Hercules schoolteacher Susie Ko. Darnell Washington, 24, and his wife Tanya Washington, 25, were arrested in SeaTac, Wash., on Oct. 10 after authorities spotted them driving the blue Subaru that was stolen from Ko’s home the day of her murder.
Police believe the pair stabbed 55-year-old Ko to death at her home on Ash Court on Oct. 5 before stealing the car and heading north. Contra Costa County prosecutors have charged both suspects with murder, carjacking, car theft, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery, possession of a stolen car and possession of stolen property, according to the district attorney’s office.
The couple has also been charged with a special-circumstance enhancement that makes them ineligible for bail. Additionally, Darnell Washington has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hercules police said Ko’s murder was part of a multi-state crime spree that included Tanya Washington aiding in her husband’s escape from San Bernardino County Jail, Darnell Washington’s alleged shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy and multiple carjackings.
The pair remains in custody in Kings County, Wash., and will be extradited to California at a later date. The district attorneys’ offices of Contra Costa and Los Angeles counties will decide which county will try the couple first, Van Putten said. A memorial service was held for Ko on Friday at St Patrick’s Church in Rodeo, on the campus where she taught elementary school students for over a decade. She is survived by her husband, four adult children and a granddaughter.
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