Slain Hercules Teacher Murder Suspect Appears In Court

Darnell Washington was ordered back to court on Nov. 16.

By Lisa Fernandez and Christie Smith
|  Thursday, Nov 8, 2012  |  Updated 12:17 PM PDT
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Darnell Washington, the man charged with murdering Hercules teacher and mother, Susie Ko, did not enter a plea Thursday in Contra Costa County Superior Court. Christie Smith reports.

Darnell Washington, the man charged with murdering Hercules teacher and mother, Susie Ko, did not enter a plea Thursday in Contra Costa County Superior Court. Christie Smith reports.

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Two Arrests In Hercules Teacher Stabbing

A Southern California couple, Darnell and Tania Washington, have been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of Susie Ko, a retired teacher in Hercules. Cheryl Hurd reports.
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The man accused of murdering a retired Hercules school teacher appeared in a Contra Costa County courtroom on Thursday, but did not enter a plea as to whether he stabbed Susie Ko to death on Oct. 5.

Darnell Washington was ordered back to court on Nov. 16. His public defender declined comment to NBC Bay Area after the brief appearance.

Washington, 24, and his wife, Tania, 25, were arrested shortly after Ko was found stabbed in her Hercules home in a suburb near Seattle called SeaTac. Police had said the couple was found driving Ko's blue Subaru Outback, which had been taken from the family's home after she was killed.

The Washingtons had both been held in Washington state on other charges, before Darnell Washington was extradited to Contra County County to face the murder charge, along with eight other felonies that include burglary and carjacking. Those special circumstances make Washington eligible for the death penalty. He is considered a Three Strikes candidate.

Authorities still don't know why Darnell Washington would have allegedly chosen Ko's home or the city of Hercules to stop in, although on Thursday, they did reveal that Washington had bought a hacksaw at a K-mart in the nearby city of Pinole.

Darnell Washington is also accused of breaking out of a San Bernadino County jail in August - with Tania Washington's help - after Darnell Washington allegedly, shot a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in El Monte, and carjacked several vehicles. He was in jail on a separate robbery charge.

Tania Washington is still awaiting extradition from Washington state.

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