The Orange County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday announced the charges against the man accused of the shooting murders of his father and his father’s girlfriend, the shooting blinding of a friend since childhood and the shooting wounding of a fourth roommate in an Aliso Viejo townhome on Thursday.
Luke William Ferguson was slapped with two felony counts of murder, two felony counts of attempted murder, special circumstances allegations for multiple murders, another sentencing enhancement for personal use of a firearm causing death and great bodily injury with a prior felony conviction.
The 2012 conviction was for stalking in Los Angeles, where Ferguson reportedly bounced in and out of jail.
A conviction on all of that could send the 26-year-old to state prison for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole, according to the OCDA. Ferguson’s arraignment was postponed to Nov. 3.
He had resided in the same townhome at 6 Ashbury Court as the victims: the late Douglas Ferguson, 59, and Lisa Cosenza, the 51-year-old owner of the residence; and tenants Brandon Dufault, 23, and Todd Kuchar, 48.
The OCDA arraignment statement indicates that Dufault was shot in the face and Kuchar suffered gunshot wounds to his knee and back. Luke Ferguson allegedly fled the area in a surviving victim’s car, the same vehicle the Orange County Sheriff’s Department deemed as having been stolen at the time of the suspect’s arrest in Inglewood Friday afternoon.
Kuchar, who was shot three times and likely would have bled out had a neighbor not quickly contacted authorities, told the media that the shooting rampage was sparked by Douglas Ferguson telling his son to get a job and stop drinking beer, according to an ABC7 report. Kuchar has since been released from the hospital, but he needs financial assistance.
“Todd is pulling through as best as he can,” reads the crowdfunding pitch on GoFundMe.com/#ToughTodd Aliso Viejo Victims Fund. “Keeping his happy-go-lucky attitude, he’s wiping tears, answering questions, and only thinking of others (as usual). Todd does not have insurance, and we are asking for absolutely any and all charity/help we can get.”
Dufault, Luke Ferguson and their brothers grew up fishing together at Venice Beach, but they drifted apart after the Default family moved to Big Bear a decade ago, reports the Orange County Register, whose staffer Jordan Graham adds Luke and Brandon were reunited recently when the latter rented a room from Cosenza. Default was the final victim to be shot Thursday.
Taking a shower after a Home Depot shift, he heard several loud pops before the bathroom door burst open and at least one shot from a handgun was fired through the shower door, shattering the glass, his father Anthony Default reportedly told the Register.
A bullet entered Brandon’s skull near the left side of his nose before lodging in his tonsils. Bullet fragments scattered throughout his mouth and jawbone, and shards of broken glass went into his eyes. Surgeons successfully removed the bullet on Sunday, but the young man remains blind and may never see again.
“He underwent 11 hours of surgery on his eyes and we have been told that there will be numerous eye surgeries ahead,” reads a message from Brandon’s mother in a crowdfunding pitch friends and family have mounted to defray mounting medical costs. “The first [surgery is] within the next 2 to 4 weeks. He will never fully recover his sight; best we can hope for right now is 20/400 vision when all said and done. Which could take years. For now we are praying for colors and shadows.”
Click on GoFundMe.com/augh2-help-brandon-in-this-time-of-need, where the victim’s mother also explains she tried to keep her son’s “name and his ordeal out of media until we could process what lies ahead.”
She concludes with, “By the grace of God, my son’s life was spared yesterday and I am forever grateful. I truly believe because of the values I tried to teach him and he chose to respect, I have been given another chance to teach him something more. This will no doubt be the biggest journey of our lives but we will not give up.”
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.