Suspects in murder of elderly woman at California mall refuse to leave jail to attend court: report

If convicted, they could face the death penalty.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
It has been revealed that the three men accused of killing an elderly tourist from New Zealand in Newport Beach, California last week have refused to leave their cells to face charges in court. According to a report from the Daily MailLeroyernest McCrary, 26, Jaden Cunningham, 18, and Malachi Darnell, 18, have failed to appear before Judge Andre Manssourian at Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, despite it being a mere 200 yards from where they are being held.

The trio were all booked on homicide, robbery with a firearm, and conspiracy charges in connection with the murder of 68-year-old Patricia McKay. If convicted, they could face the death penalty. 

According to the Daily Mail, Manssourian first requested that McCrary, Cunningham, and Darnell appear before him in court on Friday, two days after the killing took place and the suspects were taken into custody. They refused, staying put in their cells. The judge asked them again on Monday, and again the answer was no. 

Manssourian said he was not sure why the trio had acted that way, noting that he may have heard "something about a 24-hour psychiatric hold." He ordered deputies to provide a report "in writing as to why they are not in court right now." The suspects did eventually agree to briefly appear via video call after iPads were brought to their cells, however the judge scheduled another hearing for Wednesday and asked them yet again to show up.

The incident took place shortly after 3:30 pm on July 3 outside the Barnes & Noble at Fashion Island. Newport Beach Police explained that two suspects, one armed with a handgun, attempted to rob McKay and her husband. A third suspect driving a getaway car subsequently struck McKay, killing her.

Newport Beach Police Public Information Officer Steve Oberon explained that "one of the suspects ran while the vehicle fled and actually struck the female victim," and that "the male suspect that ran got back into the vehicle at which point some rounds were fired from a handgun and the vehicle fled the scene."

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