Hearing delayed for Linda Vista murder suspect

SAN DIEGO - A preliminary hearing was rescheduled Thursday to May 21 for a murder suspect who was shot by law enforcement as he allegedly attempted to elude arrest.

Joseph Anthony Hill, 44, is charged with murder and the use of a weapon causing death in connection with the Dec. 29 fatal shooting of 47-year-old Sean O'Toole at a home in Linda Vista. Hill faces up to 85 years to life in state prison if convicted.

At Hill's arraignment in January, Deputy District Attorney Joe McLaughlin said the defendant went to a home in the 2200 block of Drescher Street and got into a confrontation with O'Toole. The victim asked the defendant, "Are you going to shoot me?" and Hill pulled out a gun and shot O'Toole, the prosecutor alleged. The motive was unclear.

O'Toole died about 90 minutes after the 5 p.m. shooting.

Around 8:30 a.m. the following day, members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force saw Hill leaving a home in the 1600 block of Catalina Boulevard and approached him to make an arrest.

Hill got into his vehicle and tried to drive away, striking an officer and pinning him against a parked car, said San Diego police Lt. Jorge Duran.

Fearing the pinned officer would suffer great bodily injury or death, several task force members then opened fire on Hill, who drove a short distance north on Catalina Boulevard before his vehicle struck a parked car and crashed into the front yard of a nearby residence, Duran said.

The injured officer who was struck by Hill's vehicle was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries.

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