Accused Cop Killer in Court Wednesday

Accused Cop Killer in Court Wednesday

Accused Cop Killer in Court Wednesday

Prosecutors have charged a Mexican national with murder in the killing of a California police officer.

A man charged with the killing of police officer in Northern California made his first court appearance but did not enter a plea.

Singh, 33, was killed on December 26 just before 1 a.m. after he pulled Ariaga over in his a gray Dodge Ram pickup truck because he believed he was under the influence of alcohol, authorities said.

Officer Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department, California, is pictured in this undated photo released by Merced Police Department. A suspected drunk driver accused of fatally shooting Singh who pulled him over was captured Friday, Dec. 28, as he tried to flee back to Mexico, where he lived before illegally crossing into the US, authorities said.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga was expected to be arraigned later in the day in Modesto, said John Goold, spokesman for the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office.

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The case has rekindled a debate over California's sanctuary law that limits cooperation with federal immigration officials. A complaint lists three aliases for him, including Paulo Virgen Mendoza. Authorities also say that he has known gang affiliations.

Perez Arriaga's attorney, Stephen Foley, questioned his client's mental competency, leading the court to delay the case until the suspect gets a mental health evaluation, The Modesto Bee newspaper reported.

Seven people, including two of Arriaga's brothers, a woman described as his girlfriend and one of his coworkers, have been arrested for either misleading authorities about his whereabouts or aiding him in evading capture. Authorities say that Perez Arriaga had two prior DUIs and worked on dairy farms. Ronil Singh of the tiny Newman Police Department, who pulled over the suspect December 26 to investigate if he was driving drunk.

Sheriff Adam Christianson, who led the investigation, blamed California's sanctuary law for preventing local authorities from reporting Perez Arriaga to USA immigration officials for deportation after two previous drunken driving arrests. Jerry Brown said in a statement. Ronil Singh, who was a 33-year-old husband and father of a 5-month-old boy.

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