A Ventura County man accused of fatally stabbing his wife with a screwdriver in the parking lot of a Blythe McDonald’s restaurant, then fleeing across state lines, was in Riverside County custody Friday.

Troy Elliot Washington, 49, of Santa Paula is accused of killing Diane Washington, who was stabbed several times in the chest just before 8 p.m. last Friday. She died about an hour later at Blythe’s Palo Verde Hospital, according to an arrest warrant declaration.

After bystanders approached him shortly after the stabbing, Washington allegedly fled in a black 2016 Chrysler 200, which police found parked at a gas station in Ehrenberg, Arizona, at around 6 the following morning.

A La Paz County sheriff’s deputy spotted Washington in the parking lot, wearing shorts with blood on them, though the rest of his clothes had been changed, the declaration states.

Washington allegedly told investigators that he had married his wife while incarcerated for an unspecified offense, and that he’d been released from prison about a month prior to the stabbing.

After he and his wife got into “a heated argument at the McDonald’s parking lot,” he allegedly “stabbed Diane to get her to be quiet, but she continued to scream, so he continued to stab her hoping she would stop screaming,” the declaration states.

The nature of the argument was unknown, but a Blythe Police Department statement reads, “The motive for the homicide is still under investigation, but it appears that Washington and the victim were in an unstable relationship.”

Multiple McDonald’s employees and patrons witnessed the altercation and stabbing, and the attack was also captured on surveillance footage from the restaurant, according to the declaration.

Washington, who’s being held in lieu of $2 million bail, was booked into a La Paz County jail over the weekend, then transported to the Riverside County jail in Blythe on Friday, according to county jail records.

He’s expected to make his initial court appearance in a Blythe courtroom on Tuesday.

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