Woman Charged in Killing of MTV Staffer

Richard Edward Anderson Jr., 33, was charged with six counts of second- degree robbery.

A woman arrested along with two men in connection with a series of robberies was charged Friday with two counts of murder, including one for the shotgun slaying of an MTV music coordinator in the Mid- Wilshire area.

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said he also anticipated murder charges being filed against the two men arrested in the case, but those charges were delayed pending "the analysis of some of the evidence that was recovered."

Destiny Young, 29, was charged with two counts of murder and six counts of second-degree robbery, with special circumstances of murder during a robbery and multiple murders that potentially make her eligible for the death penalty.

Prosecutors said they will not decide whether to seek the death penalty until the case gets closer to trial.

Jabaar Vincent Thomas, 26, was charged with three counts of second- degree robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a handgun.

Richard Edward Anderson Jr., 33, was charged with six counts of second- degree robbery.

The robbery charges include allegations that the crimes were gang- related and that a shotgun was used.

The three were in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom late Friday, but their arraignments were postponed to June 2.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn ordered Young -- who cried and rocked back and forth before her case was called and wiped tears from her eyes during the hearing -- to remain jailed without bail.

Thomas' bail was set at $340,000, while Anderson was jailed in lieu of $725,000 bail.

The judge denied a media request for a TV camera during the hearing, saying "there is an indication that identity is at issue."

The police chief said all three are suspected of taking part in the roughly 1:30 a.m. Sunday killing of MTV music coordinator Gabriel Aron Ben- Meir, 30, and the April 30 killing of Marcelo Aragon, 35.

"Between April 29th and May 11th, these three individuals, armed with a shotgun, committed a series of 10 robberies and two homicides in the Mid- City, Koreatown, Pico-Union and Southwest area of Los Angeles," Beck alleged.

"These defendants targeted individuals who were walking or traveling alone in the early morning hours. They were indiscriminate in their choice of victims and their brief series of robberies quickly escalated into two senseless homicides."

All three suspects were arrested Wednesday, and police recovered a shotgun believed to have been used in both killings, Beck said.

The chief said he could not release too many details about the investigation, since they were still working to ensure murder charges could be filed against Thomas and Anderson. He would not discuss who might have fired the fatal shots.

"You cannot take from what I said that she (Young) is the trigger- puller on either of these," he said. "I'm not going to confirm or deny that. ... But not only am I convinced -- and the detectives behind me convinced -- that she is responsible in one form or fashion or another for these homicides, but so is the district attorney, and so will a jury."

Beck added, "These are people with no conscience and with an extreme disregard for humanity."

Ben-Meir was killed about 1:30 a.m. Sunday outside his apartment building upon arriving home, but his body was not found until about 6:30 a.m., police said. Investigators told the Los Angeles Times his wallet was stolen.

Beck said officers got a break in the case Tuesday when they responded to a robbery that matched the suspects' method of operation. Officers investigating that robbery obtained a video of the suspects' vehicle.

On Wednesday, an officer saw the vehicle being driven near 10th Avenue and Washington Boulevard, and police swarmed to the scene and arrested Thomas and Young, Beck said.

"After lengthy interrogation ... it was determined that Thomas and Young were in fact the perpetrators of many of the robberies and both of the homicides," the chief said. "A follow-up investigation and a search by undercover officers ... recovered the third subject, Richard Anderson, who was arrested in South Los Angeles and initially booked for robberies. A search warrant was immediately obtained and several pieces of evidence were recovered, including the shotgun used in what we believe to be both murders."
 

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