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Two are dead after Christmas Day killings in Santa Margarita 

Two women were shot to death in Santa Margarita on Christmas night. San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies arrested Andrew Wesley Downs, a 20-year-old Atascadero man, in connection with the killings.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, Downs is suspected of shooting and killing Kathy Yeager, a 61-year-old woman who was visiting relatives for Christmas. When her sister Beverly Reilly entered the house where Yeager had been shot, Downs allegedly shot and killed her. A male relative who had entered the house with Reilly fled when he saw Downs. Downs then reportedly stole a truck and pursued the relative through a field until the vehicle became stuck in mud, according to police reports. Downs then allegedly stole another vehicle and attacked another person in a house in Atascadero. He was captured by two people who were in the home, according to reports.

Downs pleaded not guilty to two charges of premeditated murder along with a single charge of attempted murder. His defense attorney, Mathew Guerrero, asked for and was granted a competency hearing for his client.

Memorial services for Yeager and Reilly will be held New Year’s Day at 1 p.m. at Santa Margarita Ranch. The

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