A homeless woman accused of fatally stabbing to death a 64-year-old woman as she walked her dogs on a Riverside street made her initial court appearance Thursday.
The accused killer had earlier been arrested for attacking someone with a skateboard, but she was released due to “emergency bail schedule” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Darlene Stephanie Montoya, 23, was arrested Saturday after the alleged attack on Ke Chieh Meng of Riverside and is charged with murder and a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon — a knife — in the commission of a felony.
According to Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback, Meng was walking her two small canines on Golden Avenue, near Stonewall Drive, when she was approached about 7 a.m. last Saturday.
“Ms. Meng … was randomly confronted and attacked by the suspect,” Railsback said. “During the attack, Ms. Meng was stabbed, and the suspect fled the scene.”
Witnesses called 911, and paramedics reached the location within a couple of minutes and found Meng “bleeding from her abdomen and suffering stab wounds,” Railsback said. Meng was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where she died roughly an hour later.
Based on eyewitness accounts and other evidence, Montoya was quickly identified as the alleged assailant. She was located less than an hour later on Midland Road and taken into custody without a struggle, according to police, who said there was no indication the attack was racially motivated.
Montoya, whose last known address was in Monterey Park, allegedly hit a woman with a skateboard on Tyler Avenue, under the Riverside (91) Freeway, on March 29 and was arrested on suspicion of assault, Railsback said.
“Due to the current emergency bail schedule for COVID-19 … she was released,” he said, adding that Montoya had been given a citation with a notice to appear in court in the next two months.
Montoya, who has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County, appeared before Superior Court Judge O.G. Magno, who appointed her a public defender and scheduled her arraignment for April 22 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Magno ordered Montoya held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
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