Nine charged in alleged murderous crime spree; Two suspects at large
Nine people have been charged in an alleged crime spree that included the killings of six people within less than two months, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Friday.
Seven of those charged — all described as reputed gang members linked to the same gang and all residents of Los Angeles — have been arrested in connection with the crimes, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Two of the killings occurred in the LAPD’s 77th Street Area, two others occurred in the LAPD’s Southeast Area and the remaining two occurred in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Century Station area, police said.
Mario Gonzalez, 20, is charged with six counts of murder for the shooting deaths of 18-year-old Arron Sutton on Nov. 15; 61-year-old Christopher Woods on Nov. 20; 24-year-old Timonhy Lee on Nov. 22; 23-year-old Kodi Martin and 24-year-old Erika Dixon on Dec. 3 and 29-year-old Jamahl Feemster on Jan. 4, along with three counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Alexander Padilla Yates, 27, is charged with the murders of Sutton, Lee, Martin and Dixon, as well as three counts of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of attempted murder.
Co-defendants Tyreece Marquis Brown, 28, Jahzanee Jervean Cruz, 27, James Allen Patterson, 38, and Darryl Ray Jones, 35, have been charged with one count each of murder stemming from Lee’s killing, along with two counts each of conspiracy to commit murder.
The criminal complaint includes gun use allegations against Gonzalez, Yates and Cruz, along with an allegation that Cruz has a 2017 conviction for robbery in Los Angeles County.
The criminal complaint also alleges that the shootings followed an attack last Sept. 26 in which a rival gang member shot at Brown, who was not struck by the gunfire, and another alleged gang member who was struck and killed.
The six were arrested Monday by Los Angeles police and have remained behind bars since then, jail records show. They have each pleaded not guilty and are due in a Compton courtroom next Wednesday, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against them to proceed to trial.
Another man, Tony Gonzalez, 21, is charged with one count of second-degree robbery.
Two others who are charged have not been arrested.
“I am committed to making sure there are serious consequences for anyone who lacks compassion for another human life. My heart aches for every family who has lost a loved one to violent crime,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a written statement in which he added that his office is “working diligently with our law enforcement and community partners to reduce violent crime across Los Angeles County.”
Los Angeles police said search warrants served at six locations throughout Los Angeles County resulted in the recovery of nine firearms and other evidence related to multiple crimes.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, according to the District Attorney’s Office.