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Couple wanted in slaying, crime spree arrested near Seattle

October 11, 2012 |  3:16 am

A couple allegedly on a crime spree that involved a slaying in Northern California and an attempted murder, several carjackings and a jailbreak in Southern California have been captured near Seattle, according to authorities and media reports.

Darnell Washington, 24, and his wife, Tania Washington, 25, were wanted in the attempted murder of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy John Marquez on Sept. 2, and the murder of Susie Ko, a retired teacher from Hercules in Northern California, earlier this month.

"The couple was driving a stolen vehicle taken during a home invasion robbery/murder" in Hercules, Lt. Wes Sutton, supervisor of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives, wrote in an email. "Homicide Bureau investigators will be responding to Washington."

The suspects were arrested in the Seattle suburb of SeaTac after a patrol officer noticed their car, a blue Subaru station wagon, which he hadn't seen in the area before, according to reports in the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle.

The officer called in the license number of the car, which had been reported as stolen. The driver attempted flee, but officers boxed in the car and arrested the couple, according to the newspaper reports.

On Aug. 28, authorities said, Darnell Washington, allegedly with the help of his wife, broke out of San Bernardino County's Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in Devore, where he was awaiting sentencing for robbery and receiving stolen property.

On the morning of Sunday, Sept. 2, Marquez came upon a white Ford Explorer near a South El Monte 7-Eleven. He checked on the license number of the vehicle, which came up as connected to a robbery, officials said.

Theys said Marquez then confronted the couple as they were leaving the store. Darnell Washington, who wears a tattoo with the words "By Any Means," allegedly emerged from the side of the vehicle with a shotgun. A gunfight ensued during which Marquez was wounded in the arm.

The couple then drove off, abandoned the Explorer and carjacked another vehicle in South Gate, officials said.

On Oct. 5, in Hercules, neighbors found Ko’s body in her home after her husband called from the airport, where she was supposed to pick him up, officials said. Ko had been stabbed to death.

Her blue Subaru station wagon was missing -– the same Subaru, authorities said, that the SeaTac police officer noticed on patrol Wednesday morning.


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Photo: Darnell Washington and Tania Washington after they were arrested in King County, Wash., on Wednesday. Credit: King County Sheriff's Office / Associated Press