An ex-con who served time in prison on a double-murder case was ordered Friday to stand trial for allegedly killing his girlfriend in her South Los Angeles apartment.
Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli rejected a defense motion to dismiss or reduce the latest murder count against Darryl Lamar Collins, 52, of Baldwin Park.
Collins is charged with the July 2, 2021 asphyxiation of his 53-year-old girlfriend, Fatima Johnson, whose daughters found her bound, gagged and wrapped in a blanket in her apartment in the 7600 block of South Western Avenue after she failed to show up for work or respond to text messages.
Her family called paramedics, who pronounced her dead at the scene.
“What happened to my mother, no child should ever see of their parent, Johnson’s daughter, Tyesa Harvey, said at a news conference following a vigil held in her mother’s honor. “I’m hurt. I’m angry and I’m questioning God right now.”
Collins was initially charged with murder, along with an allegation that he had two prior convictions — one in 1992 for attempted robbery and one in 1998 for a double-murder.
In June 2022, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office added a special-circumstance allegation of a prior first-degree murder conviction.
“An internal committee of experienced attorneys with diverse backgrounds has reviewed the facts of this case and determined that, in this extremely rare instance, a policy deviation was warranted and approved the filing of a special circumstance allegation,” District Attorney George GascÃ³n said in a statement last June. “The facts of this case are extraordinary and demanded further review based on our charging policies.”
Authorities said Johnson was killed less than a year after her boyfriend was released on parole from state prison.
Collins — who remains jailed without bail — could face a maximum potential sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged.