Man accused of shooting ex-wife in Lakeside home pleads not guilty to murder

EL CAJON (CNS) – A Lakeside man accused of gunning down his ex-wife in the home they shared, then trying to commit suicide by asphyxiating himself with carbon monoxide, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge. Timothy Ralph Danielson, 63, was ordered held without bail.

Deputy District Attorney Michael McCann alleged that Danielson shot 48- year-old Ming Qi six times downstairs after they argued about a man she'd been dating.

“It appears that the defendant was attempting to kick her out of the house basically,” McCann told reporters outside the courtroom. “She was dating somebody else, which he was aware of, but he had had enough.”

The defendant and his ex-wife — who were married from 2006 to 2008 — both lived in the home but had separate bedrooms, the prosecutor said. A neighbor said Qi had recently moved back in with her ex-spouse for financial reasons.

As the two argued, Danielson retrieved a .22-caliber rifle and shot Qi three times in the back as she tried to get away, McCann alleged.

When the woman was on the ground, Danielson allegedly put the rifle to the back of her head and shot her twice more in that area and once in the throat, the prosecutor said.

Danielson didn't call 911, but instead took his ex-wife's body up to his bedroom and used a generator to try to kill himself with carbon monoxide, McCann said.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the home on New Bedford Court about 4:45 a.m. Monday after being contacted by a woman who said her brother-in-law had sent her an email saying he had killed his wife and was about to kill himself, according to the prosecutor.

He said Danielson was not cooperative with deputies, so they zapped him with a Taser gun and he was arrested and taken to a hospital.

Defense attorney Paul Pfingst said Danielson was distraught over his ex- wife's death.

“By everyone's account, Tim Danielson is as sweet and gentle a person as anyone has ever met, so the circumstances here indicate that there is a story that has to be told, and it will be told in court,” Pfingst told reporters.

“I have yet to meet a person who has said an unkind word about Tim Danielson,” the defense attorney added. “He has no prior criminal history at all, not even for parking tickets. He is known by his friends and relatives and workplace aides as being as gentle and kind and soft-spoken a person as anybody will find.”

As a youth, Danielson was a track star at Chula Vista High School. In 1966, he became only the second U.S. high-schooler to run the mile in under four minutes. Three others have done it since.

Pfingst said Danielson was minutes away from death when law enforcement found him in his bathroom and administered aid.

Then defendant, who faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted of murder and the use of a rifle, will be back in court July 13 for a readiness conference and Aug. 16 for a preliminary hearing.

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