Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Vol. 4 No. 39 Tim Danielson Convicted of First Degree Murder
Tim Danielson as reported below in the UT San Diego news was convicted of first degree murder in the killing of his ex-wife. He faces a possibility of 50 years to life sentence. Danielson is the second high schooler to break the four minute mile and one of only four men who accomplished that feat.
EL CAJON — A former track star accused of fatally shooting his wife nearly three years ago and then trying to commit suicide by asphyxiating on deadly fumes was convicted Monday of first-degree murder.
Timothy Danielson, 66, was charged in the June 2011 death of Ming Qi, 48, whose body was found in a bedroom at the Lakeside home they shared. She was shot with a rifle six times: three times in the back, twice in the head and once in the throat, prosecutor said.
Danielson was also found in a bedroom. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and was arrested there later.
He will likely be sentenced to 50 years to life in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for July 11 in El Cajon Superior Court.
Deputy District Attorney Chantal DeMauregne said the shooting happened after the defendant found a piece of men’s clothing with some of Qi’s other belongings. The defendant and the victim were divorced but were living in the same house.
Qi had apparently begun dating someone new.
During the early morning hours of June 13, 2011, sheriff’s deputies were called to the home on New Bedford Court after a woman reported that her brother-in-law had sent her an email saying he killed his wife. He also wrote he was in a bedroom with a portable generator, trying to kill himself by inhaling carbon monoxide.
Qi, who worked as a substitute teacher, was Danielson’s second wife. The couple divorced in 2008 after two years of marriage, prosecutors said. They each had children from previous relationships.
Defense attorney Paul Pfingst argued in trial that Danielson had started and then stopped taking an anti-smoking drug called Chantix around the time of the shooting, which made him temporarily psychotic. Pfingst said the drug is associated with suicidal and homicidal thoughts.
“Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using CHANTIX to help them quit smoking,” according to the website for the prescription drug. “Some people had these symptoms when they began taking CHANTIX, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after stopping CHANTIX.”
Pfingst also argued that Qi had been taunting Danielson with her new relationship.
“That combined with the Chantix caused him to do something that was not in his character,” the attorney said in a phone interview.
He had asked the jury to acquit his client of charges stemming from the killing or, in the alternative, to find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
The prosecutor said an expert witness testified that Danielson had been suffering from depression long before he started taking Chantix.
Danielson had worked at GKN Aerospace Engine Products in El Cajon since 1971. He was a standout runner at Chula Vista High School in the late 1960s. On July 11, 1966, at Balboa Stadium, Danielson became only the second U.S. high schooler to run the mile in under four minutes.
Only a few others have done it since.
That's really a shame about the life of Tim Danielson. Sports are supposed to help us on our way through life and they surely do in most cases, but not in every one. His story is a sad one in so many ways leading me to realize there is no such thing as a sure bet. It turned out worse for his ex-wife. Bill Schnier
at May 14, 2014
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