BELLFLOWER (CBSLA.com) — An arraignment was postponed Thursday for a Los Angeles man charged with murdering a police officer and wounding another in Whittier.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the hearing was delayed due to medical reasons.
A new date was not immediately announced.
Michael Christopher Mejia, 26, was charged Wednesday with two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder, carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Mejia also faces special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, murder of a police officer and murder to escape arrest — making him eligible for the death penalty.
The criminal complaint also alleges weapons and a gang allegation.
Mejia is accused of fatally shooting his 47-year-old cousin, Roy Torres, on Feb. 20 in East Los Angeles. He allegedly took Torres’ car and later crashed into two others in Whittier.
Police responded to the crash. When they ordered Mejia to get out of the vehicle, he allegedly pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and fired at two officers.
Officer Keith Boyer, 53, was killed and Officer Patrick Hazell was wounded in the shootout.
Mejia also sustained injuries during the gun battle.
If convicted as charged, he faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date.