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Transient Charged with Capital Murder In Westlake Arson Fire that Killed Five

Posted by Fay Arfa | Jun 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

A 21-year-old transient was charged today with capital murder for allegedly setting fire to a vacant building in the Westlake District that left five people dead, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.

Johnny Josue Sanchez (dob 7/14/94) is scheduled to be arraigned after 2 p.m. today in Department 30 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in case BA447545. Prosecutors will ask that he be held without bail.

Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney with the Arson and Explosives Section is prosecuting the case.

The blaze broke out about 7 p.m. Monday in a large vacant commercial building at 2411 W. Eighth St. near MacArthur Park. Sanchez allegedly set a fire after getting into a dispute with other transients at the site, killing Jerry Dean Clemons, 59, and Mary Ann Davis, 44. Authorities have yet to identify two males and one female victim.

Sanchez is charged with five counts of capital murder with the special circumstances of multiple murders and arson murder and two counts of attempted, premeditated murder.

Prosecutors will decide later if they will seek the death penalty against Sanchez.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division

Los Angeles County District Attorney / case BA447545 / June 15, 2016

About the Author

Fay Arfa

Fay Arfa has the distinction of being Certified as a Specialist in two separate areas of law – Criminal Law as well as Appellate Law – by the California State Bar, Board of Specialization. The National Board of Trial Advocacy has also awarded her a board Certification in Criminal Trial Advocacy. ...


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