Man accused of attacking jogger held to answer

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station
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A nearly 3-year-old case involving a 70-year-old jogger who was assaulted on a Santa Clarita bike path in September 2017 moved closer to trial this week. 

Colton Ford, 32, was held to answer Tuesday to one count of attempted willful, deliberate and premeditated murder with an allegation that the defendant inflicted great bodily injury upon a victim 70 years of age or older, according to Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The alleged attack happened shortly after 8:20 a.m. on Sept. 25, 2017, when a woman jogging on the bike path in Valencia near the post office on McBean Parkway was attacked.

Ford stands accused of crossing paths with the victim, then grabbing her and strangling her until she became unconscious, according to a previous statement from the District Attorney’s Office.

There have been numerous delays in the trial, including a challenge to the suspect’s mental competency to stand trial.

“He was deemed incompetent to stand trial (in July 2018),” Santiago said in a previous story.

Shortly after the initial arrest in 2017, then-Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Robert Lewis spoke about the incident at a City Council meeting.

“Two good Samaritans who actually came to her rescue, held on to the suspect for deputies,” Lewis told council members. He said Ford had arrived in the SCV from Orange County in early 2017 and that he had been arrested on four Proposition 47 charges prior.

“Eight hours into the investigation, we are now looking at an attempted murder charge,” Lewis said.

Arrest documents show that Ford was arrested in the SCV June 20, 2017, on suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Proposition 47 — also called the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act — reduced about two dozen nonviolent felonies, such as shoplifting and drug possession, to misdemeanors, which typically carry less jail time, if any jail time at all.

Californians voted in favor of the Proposition 47 ballot measure in November 2014.

Ford is due back in court Sept. 15. He’s being held in lieu of more than $1 million bail.

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