EL CAJON, Calif. — A former high school track star who shot his ex-wife in their Lakeside home, then tried to commit suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide, was convicted Monday of first-degree murder.
Timothy Ralph Danielson, 66, will be sentenced to 50 years to life in prison when he is sentenced July 11 for the death of 48-year-old Ming Qi.
Prosecutors said the victim was shot six times in the back, head and throat on June 13, 2011, as she tried to run away after arguing with Danielson about a man she had been dating. Qi and Danielson were divorced but living in the same house.
Defense attorney Paul Pfingst suggested that his client’s use of an anti- smoking drug may have affected his behavior. He said that around the time of the murder, Danielson had started and stopped taking Chantix, which, according to its website, can cause side effects such as “hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts.”
The defendant and the victim were married from 2006 to 2008 but lived together after their divorce for financial reasons, maintaining separate bedrooms in their home on New Bedford Court, authorities said.
After the shooting, Danielson took Qi’s body to his bedroom and used a gas generator to try to kill himself with carbon monoxide.
The suicide attempt was foiled by sheriff’s deputies who were called to the couple’s home by a relative who said she had received an email from Danielson saying he had just killed Qi and was about to kill himself.
Danielson was a running star at Chula Vista High School in the late 1960s. In 1966, he became only the second U.S. high schooler to run a mile in under four minutes.