NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — The three men charged in the death of a tourist from New Zealand appeared in court Wednesday for the first time since a botched robbery attempt at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island mall.

The arraignment of Leroy Ernest Joseph McCrary, 26, of Los Angeles, Malachi Eddward Darnell, 18, of Los Angeles, and Jaden Cunningham, 18, of Lancaster was postponed until Aug. 1.

They’ve been charged with murder and other offenses in the death of 68-year-old Patricia McKay.

In addition to a special circumstances murder charge, McCrary was charged with one felony count of attempted second-degree robbery, and one felony count of evading while driving recklessly. McCrary has prior felony convictions for residential burglary in 2018, criminal threats in 2020, and robbery in 2023, all in Los Angeles County, the statement said.

Darnell was also charged with one felony count of second-degree attempted robbery, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony enhancement of personal use of a firearm and one felony enhancement of personal discharge of a firearm, the DA’s office said. Cunningham faces one felony count of attempted second-degree robbery.

They could face the death penalty if convicted as charged.

According to police and prosecutors, Darnell and Cunningham, both wearing masks, approached McKay and her husband as they were walking outside the Barnes & Noble store at Fashion Island last week.

A woman who was struck and killed by a suspect’s vehicle during a botched robbery in Newport Beach has been identified as a 68-year-old tourist from New Zealand.

One of the suspects put a gun to the head of McKay’s 69-year-old husband and demanded his watch as they forced him to the ground, prosecutors said.

When they were unable to get the watch, the suspects allegedly turned their attention to McKay, who was holding multiple shopping bags.

Cunningham is accused of dragging McKay into the street in front of a getaway car being driven by McCrary.

According to the DA’s office, McKay’s husband jumped in front of the vehicle in an effort to protect his wife, but McCrary, with Darnell back in the vehicle, accelerated and forced the husband out of the way, then ran over McKay, trapping her under the vehicle and dragging her 65 feet.

She was pronounced dead at the scene. McKay’s husband was not seriously injured during the robbery, police said.

The suspects fled the scene and were eventually arrested after a police chase across the region.

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