Couple charged in killing of retired Boise teacher

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A husband and wife accused of killing a retired Northern California school teacher and wanted in a series of crimes in Southern California, including the shooting of a deputy, are a step closer to being returned to California from Washington to face charges, authorities said.

Warrants were filed Wednesday in Contra Costa County Superior Court charging Darnell Washington, 24, and his wife, Tanya Washington, 25, with the murder of Susie Ko, said Hercules police spokeswoman Connie Van Putten.

Ko and her husband also lived and spent much of their time in the Boise area.

Several other charges were also filed against the couple, including robbery, carjacking and burglary. Darnell Washington was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, Van Putten said.

An extradition warrant was also filed Wednesday seeking to have the couple returned to California.

The Washingtons were being held in King County, Wash. They were arrested outside of Seattle less than a week after neighbors found Ko, 55, dead on the floor of her home Oct. 5.

An autopsy report showed that she died of stab wounds and blunt force trauma to the head.

The Washingtons were arrested Oct. 10 in SeaTac while driving the Subaru station wagon that was taken from Ko's home after she was killed, police said.

The pair led officers on a brief pursuit. After they were arrested, officers found a shotgun in the car, police said.

The husband and wife were also wanted in a Southern California crime spree that authorities say included Darnell Washington's escape from San Bernardino County jail in August, the shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in El Monte, and a series of carjackings. The deputy was treated at a hospital and released.

Prosecutors from Contra Costa and Los Angeles counties will determine where the couple will be tried first.

Homicides and violent crime are uncommon in Hercules, a mostly residential community of upscale homes and quiet neighborhoods on San Pablo Bay, about 20 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The killing of Ko was the first homicide in the city since 2010, and there have only been five homicides in Hercules in the past 12 years, Van Putten said.