A Solano County Superior Court judge on Monday set a preliminary hearing date for a man charged with the Aug. 14 slaying of an unidentified 38-year-old woman at a traffic stop in Cordelia.
Randall James Garner, 26, was scheduled to appear in Department 5 for a readiness conference and the setting of a preliminary hearing, with Judge Stephanie Grogan Jones ordering him to return first at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 29 for a readiness conference in the Justice Center in Fairfield. She set Garner’s hearing date for 10 a.m. Feb. 5.
In the complaint filed Sept. 17, the Solano County District Attorney’s Office cited two other counts against Garner: shooting at an occupied vehicle and being a felon in possession of a firearm, in addition to citing three prior convictions for joyriding, that is, taking someone else’s vehicle without their consent.
Gardner is represented by defense attorney Gregory S. Clark of Vacaville, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Paul Sequeira leads the prosecution.
Details of the investigation and the circumstances that led to Garner’s arrest last month have not become available. The lead agency in the case, Fairfield Police Department, has not responded to a Reporter request for more information.
But court records also indicate the DA some weeks ago dismissed the murder charge against Louis Ray Marsh, 58, of Fairfield, who was the initial suspect. However, legal proceedings against him for other charges, apparently unrelated to the murder investigation, continue in Department 11.
Killed in the pre-dawn hours of Aug. 14, the deceased woman has not been identified by the Solano County Coroner, which previously cited an ongoing investigation as the reason.
Fairfield police investigators said the events leading to the killing began when the victim waited at a traffic light on Lopes Road near the on-ramp to Interstate 80. Investigators initially said the killing likely stemmed from a previous altercation.
The driver of the victim’s vehicle sped off onto the freeway, the suspect shooting twice at him, striking his vehicle, police said. He subsequently exited at Central Way and Pittman Road, then called police. His female passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.