A 26-year-old man was charged Tuesday with killing his father and his dad’s girlfriend and wounding two renters who lived with the couple in Aliso Viejo.
Luke William Ferguson is charged with two counts each of murder and attempted murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders and sentencing enhancement allegations of discharging a firearm causing death.
Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty for the defendant, who would otherwise face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of killing Doug Ferguson, 59, and Lisa Cosenza, 51, and wounding two men, aged 23 and 48, who rented a room in the couple’s home at 6 Ashbury Court.
Todd Kuchar, who was shot in the leg and back as he was running away, was released from the hospital the following day. He told reporters that the gunman had a smirk on his face as he opened fire last Thursday about 2:45 p.m.
Kuchar told ABC7 that the defendant had argued with his dad a few days prior to the shooting “about Luke getting a job.”
“His dad got into him about all this stuff — he needs to stop drinking beer, he needs to get his act together,” Kuchar said. “I guess it took a toll on his head.”
The other wounded man was identified in a CBS2 news report as Brandon Dufault. He was upstairs in the shower at the time, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino.
The other three victims were shot while they were in the living room, the prosecutor said.
Ferguson had been living at his father’s home for about six weeks before the shooting, Pino said.
“He came downstairs, racked the firearm, and shot his father, shot the older roommate and then shot the other two,” Pino alleged.
The suspect remained at large until Friday afternoon, when Inglewood police spotted him driving a stolen vehicle at high speed and made a traffic stop near La Cienega and Manchester boulevards, said Orange County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jaimee Blashaw. She said a handgun was recovered when he was taken into custody.
Ferguson was previously arrested in November 2014 by Los Angeles police on unspecified misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to 273 days in jail.
Cosenza was the ad director of the Los Angeles Times’ Times Community News division, which publishes local newspapers in Orange County, from 2003 until 2014. She was remembered as an outgoing, friendly and hard-working colleague.
Former co-worker Vilma Hidalgo-Cruz said Cosenza was an avid Cincinnati Bengals fan who had a “passion for life and her work.”
—City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: