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David James Eugene Daniel pleads guilty to 2019 first-degree murder of Longview landlord

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David James Eugene Daniel

David James Eugene Daniel appears in the Cowlitz County Jail courtroom in 2020. 

A California man pleaded guilty to fatally shooting his Longview landlord and stealing his truck, bank card and firearms in 2019.

David James Eugene Daniel, 27, pleaded guilty to eight charges, including first-degree murder, Tuesday in Cowlitz County Superior Court, more than two years after he was charged.

Daniel admitted to fatally shooting his 73-year-old landlord Arthur Mahlum in the head around Oct. 26, 2019, in the 2000 block of Birch Street in Longview, then stealing his 1996 Chevrolet pickup, bank card, and three of Mahlum’s guns, according to court records. Due to a previous burglary conviction in California, Daniel could not legally possess firearms in Washington state, reads his guilty plea statement. The statement also says Daniel accessed less than $1,500 of Mahlum’s money using his “Red Canoe card.”

Soon after his arrest for Mahlum’s murder, Daniel told Longview officers he shot his landlord from behind while Mahlum watched TV to steal his truck and return to California, according to a previous report by The Daily News.

Daniel had lived in the home for about a month before the shooting. The tenant who found Mahlum’s body said Mahlum owned the home and rented out rooms. Daniel was arrested in California after authorities found Mahlum's bank card had been used, according to a report by The Daily News.

Daniel pleaded guilty to first-degree murder with a firearm enhancement, robbery in the first degree, motor vehicle theft, second-degree identity theft, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and three counts of firearm theft. He is in the Cowlitz County Jail without bail awaiting his Jan. 4, 2022 sentencing.

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