Judge rules Harwood must stand trial for McDonald's murder

A judge ruled today that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the trial of a woman charged with murdering a Murrieta man in a Menife...

A judge ruled today that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the trial of a woman charged with murdering a Murrieta man in a Menifee McDonald's restaurant in 2015.

Amanda Harwood, 36, is accused of shooting to death Joseph Henning, 39, the father of their child, during a child custody exchange Oct. 9, 2015 at the McDonald's in the 28000 block of Bradley Road in the Sun City community in Menifee. The investigation alleges that Harwood and Henning were meeting there for a scheduled child custody visit when Harwood shot Henning to death inside the restaurant.

Harwood, a resident of Big Bear at the time, was taken into custody at the site and was subsequently charged with murder. She was booked into the Southwest Detention Center on $1 million bail. During her arraignment on Nov. 24, 2015, Harwood pleaded not guilty.

Judge Stephen Gallon has set an information arraignment for April 13 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, according to John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

The DA's Office has also alleged a special circumstance of lying in wait against Harwood. That makes her eligible for the death penalty. That determination will be made at a later date, according to a news release. There is also a sentencing enhancement alleging personal use of a firearm.

Henning was the father of three children -- one with Harwood.

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