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Man pleads not guilty to murder in woman's killing in Spring Valley

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 20:46:48-04

SPRING VALLEY, Calif. (CNS) - A suspected gang member accused of gunning down a woman in Spring Valley while she sat in a parked car with her young child pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that include murder.

Jammerieo Austin of San Diego, 26, is accused in the slaying of 40- year-old Karmen Anderson, who was fatally wounded on the night of April 24 and died at a hospital days later, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Anderson, who was shot at about 11:30 p.m. on Bancroft Drive, was not the intended victim, according to prosecutors. Deputy District Attorney Chris Lawson said Austin and others actually sought to kill her husband, who they believed had ties to a rival gang.

RELATED: Arrest made in shooting death of woman in Spring Valley

The prosecutor said surveillance footage obtained by police showed a car Austin was in darken its headlights prior to the shooting, in what he alleged was an attempt to ambush the intended victim.

Austin is accused of arming himself with an AK-47 rifle, getting out of the suspect vehicle's passenger side and firing 13 rounds into the victim's car, striking Anderson three times.

The victim's 4-year-old child was not struck by the gunfire, but Lawson said the gunshots pierced the car's gas tank, causing it to erupt in flames. The girl's father was able to pull her from the car before she could sustain any injuries, the prosecutor said.

Lawson said part of the evidence tying Austin to the slaying included a photograph from the day of the killing, which showed him posing with a rifle and wearing clothes that were similar to the clothes the shooter was seen wearing in the surveillance footage.

Austin, who is being held without bail, faces charges of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy. He also faces special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and committing a murder while an active member of a criminal street gang.