Los Angeles

Transient Pleads Not Guilty in Couple's Bludgeoning

Shirley Isom, 74, and Armie Isom, 89, were killed Dec. 26, 2014 in an isolated multimillion-dollar home east of Los Angeles.

A transient pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder and other charges stemming from the bludgeoning deaths of an 89-year-old man and his 74- year-old wife at their multimillion-dollar home near La Verne the day after Christmas in 2014.

Luke Mathew Fabela -- who authorities said last year was linked to the killings through DNA while he was serving a jail term in San Bernardino for auto theft -- was charged in February with two counts of murder and one count each of second-degree robbery and first-degree residential burglary in the deaths of Armie "Troy" Isom and his wife, Shirley. He is due back in court Oct. 18 in Pomona.

The murder charges against Fabela, 24, include the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders during the commission of a robbery -- the only item taken was Shirley Isom's cell phone, according to the prosecution. Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to pursue the death penalty.

The victims were found by a groundskeeper at their multimillion-dollar home abutting open land in an unincorporated area near La Verne.

Both died of blunt force trauma and Shirley Isom sustained sharp force trauma, according to Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef. While Fabela was jailed in San Bernardino for an auto theft case, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials announced last May that he had been linked by DNA to the killings and that he would serve his term in San Bernardino before being sent to Los Angeles County. He remains jailed without bail.

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