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Murder charges in random California shootings

November 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man accused of going on a five-day shooting rampage that killed four people was charged with new counts Thursday that could bring him the death penalty.

The district attorney’s office said the amended complaint charges 34-year-old Alexander Hernandez with four counts of capital murder, seven counts of attempted murder and 11 other related crimes. The new allegations bring the total number of charges against him to 22.

Most of the charges against Hernandez involved the random attacks on people in cars in the San Feranando Valley area of Los Angeles.

The first complaint listed one murder, two attempted murders and three counts of animal cruelty, but the additional charges had been expected. He also is accused of shooting three dogs.

Prosecutors added an attempted murder charge on Aug. 20, the first known day of the rampage in which a 42-year-old woman was shot in her car while driving to work. She survived.

Hernandez appeared in court but his arraignment was postponed to Jan. 14 because of the new charges.

The 22 charges include attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, animal cruelty, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence.

Authorities have not been able to find any link between the victims nor a motive by Hernandez. They have called him a serial killer.

Hernandez has served prison time and has four prior convictions including possession for sale of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon.

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