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June 23, 2011

Three defendants charged in a crime spree that left two men dead

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 3:58 pm

LOS ANGELES – Prosecutors added new capital murder charges today against one of three defendants charged in a crime spree that left two men dead – one of them an MTV music coordinator.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Serna with the Hardcore Gang Division filed an amended complaint charging Jabaar Vincent Thomas, 26, with the murders of Gabriel Ben-Meir and Marcelo Aragon. The special circumstances include murder for robbery and multiple murders, making Thomas eligible for the death penalty.

Ben-Meir, a 30-year-old MTV music coordinator, was killed on May 8 after parking his car outside his Wilshire area home. Aragon, 35, was killed on April 30 in the Pico-Union section between the Wilshire area and downtown Los Angeles. Authorities said both murder victims were killed by shotgun blasts.

Serna said additional investigation allowed prosecutors to add the new murder charges against Thomas, who also was charged with four additional counts of robbery. Thomas is now charged with seven counts of second-degree robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a handgun. The robbery charges carried allegations that the crimes were street gang-related and that Thomas personally and intentionally discharged a firearm, a shotgun.

Prosecutors also added an additional robbery count against Destiny Young, 29, who was charged earlier with capital murder and six counts of second-degree robbery.

No new charges were added against the third defendant, Richard Edward Anderson, 33.

All pleaded not guilty today to the amended complaint. They return to court on July 13 to set a date for their preliminary hearing.

Although charged as a potential capital case, the District Attorney’s Office will not make a decision on whether to seek death or life without parole for Young until the matter moves closer to trial.

The complaint alleged that the murders and robberies occurred in mid-town Los Angeles, including Koreatown and the Wilshire section, between April 27 and May 10 of this year.

Thomas and Young are being held without bail. Anderson, who is charged with six counts of second-degree robbery, remains in custody on $725,000 for Anderson.

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