Woman to Stand Trial for Murder in Teacher's Stabbing Death in Oceanside

The defendant could face the death penalty if prosecutors choose to pursue it

Justice Scales and books and wooden gavel
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An Oceanside woman who allegedly fatally stabbed her neighbor as he returned home from walking his dog on the morning of his 45th birthday was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on a murder charge.

Jennifer Mendoza Ramos, 24, is accused of the April 10, 2020, killing of Jefferson Middle School physical education instructor Chad Danielson in a seemingly random attack in his front yard in the 500 block of Garfield Street.

Ramos is charged with murder, an allegation of using a knife in the killing, and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, meaning she could face capital punishment if prosecutors choose to pursue the death penalty.

Oceanside police spokesman Tom Bussey said patrol officers arrived shortly before 8 a.m. April 10 to find Danielson gravely wounded and the assailant -- who was described by witnesses as a large, long-haired man -- gone. Medics took the victim to Palomar Medical Center West in Escondido, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Examinations of crime-scene evidence linked Ramos to the slaying, Bussey said, adding that further investigation confirmed that she was "the sole suspect involved in this murder and (had been) unknown to Danielson."

"Although a (woman), Ramos' appearance resembles that of the suspect description provided by witnesses," the spokesman said around the time of her arrest.

Ramos was arrested without incident at her home in the 1300 block of Division Street, several blocks from the victim's residence, he said.

She remains held without bail.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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