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Nov 2023
Man Sentenced To Life Without Parole For Third Time In Killing Of LAPD Officer
Law Enforcement News

Man Sentenced To Life Without Parole For Third Time In Killing Of LAPD Officer

The man thrice convicted of killing of a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer in a brutal 1983 Lake View Terrace shooting was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Monday, Nov. 27. Kenneth Earl Gay, 65, and a co-defendant were convicted of killing Officer Paul Verna with a flurry of gunshots following a traffic stop on Hoyt Street all those years ago. Once again, after his latest trial and sentencing, Gay faced Verna’s family to hear how his actions that day shattered their lives forever. Again, he sat quietly as he listened to Verna’s widow and two sons tell him they’ll never stop seeking justice. Gay did not speak during the sentencing hearing. After so many years, it was clear how long Verna’s family and Gay have had to contend with each other: From his original criminal trial just over four decades ago, to seeing Gay’s case dismissed twice and the retrials that followed, both sides have now tangled in court for longer than Verna, killed at 35 years old, ever spent alive. “You were a coward then and you remain a coward today,” said Sandy Jackson, Verna’s widow, directly to Gay while giving a victim impact statement. “I’ve had to deal with you yelling at me in court,” Jackson said, again addressing Gay. “You have called me a thorn in your side.” Gay, behind bars since his arrest days after Verna’s killing on June 2, 1983, was sentenced Monday after a jury found him guilty in August of the murder and of a special circumstance allegation that he killed a police officer in the line of duty.

The Whittier Daily News, Calif.

Accused Killer Released From Jail, Then Rearrested After Human Remains Discovered In North Hills

A man arrested on suspicion of murder after human remains were discovered in concrete near a home in North Hills was briefly freed from jail Tuesday after the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office initially declined to file a criminal charge. Russel Robinson, 48, was first booked by LAPD detectives last week following the discovery that the remains of a 35-year-old man from Guatemala had been concealed in the construction of an outbuilding in the backyard of a home near Roscoe Blvd. and Woodley Ave. Jail records show Robinson was freed around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday with the reason listed as, "court order for release," a notation that usually means no criminal charge was filed following the arrest. The LA County District Attorney's Office confirmed the case was declined Monday and it was referred back to the LAPD for additional investigation, which resulted in Robinson's release. "The charging deputy received additional information late last night," the DA's office said in an email. "The suspect was charged with one count of murder and one count of dissuading a witness. He was taken into custody by LAPD," the DA said. An LAPD spokesperson said no new information was available on the investigation. An official familiar with the case told the I-Team Robinson was found late Tuesday in the San Fernando Valley.


Homeless Woman Arrested For Alleged Home Break-In Murder Of Philanthropist

Police reported on Tuesday that a 36-year-old homeless woman has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home and fatally shooting a resident in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles. Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department responded to the 900 block of Alandele Avenue around 6 p.m. Monday. Upon arrival, LAPD said officers discovered that the resident, a 33-year-old man, had been shot by an intruder. He was identified as Michael Latt, the CEO of Lead With Love, an organization focused on social justice work through the arts. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics swiftly transported him to a hospital where he died. "I'm just numb and shocked," said Avarie Shevin. "It's so close to home and I keep picturing his face and I can't believe he's passed." Police revealed that the suspect, identified as 36-year-old Jameelah Elena Michl of Los Angeles, remained at the scene and was taken into custody on suspicion of murder. She is currently held on a $3 million bail. The motive of the shooting is unclear at this time. According to the LAPD, Michl's vehicle, which served as her primary residence, was seized as evidence. Individuals with any information regarding the shooting are urged to contact West Bureau Homicide investigators at 213-382-9470. Anonymous tips can be provided by calling 800-222-8477.


LA Live Shooting: Man Killed After Gunfire Erupts At Downtown Soul-Food Restaurant

A man was killed following a shooting inside a busy restaurant at the L.A. Live entertainment venue in downtown Tuesday evening, police say. Los Angeles police responded to Fixins Soul Kitchen, near Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street, after a shooting was reported around 6:10 p.m. Police say the suspect, described as an adult male, entered the soul-food restaurant and opened fire. When officers arrived, they found a man in his 20s struck by gunfire. The victim was taken to a hospital and later died from his injuries. LAPD Cmdr. Lillian Carranza said the suspect knew the victim, and the shooting was not a random act. A woman at the restaurant also sustained a graze wound and was treated at the scene, Carranza said. Police do not believe the victims knew each other. Carranza said there are several witnesses to the shooting, customers and employees, that will be interviewed. Aerial footage captured by AIR7 HD showed ambulances and a heavy police presence at the entrance of the restaurant in the aftermath of the shooting. Police say the suspect escaped in a white Ford, possibly an SUV. Carranza said she considers the suspect to be "armed and dangerous."


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Man Sentenced In Marina Del Rey Gas Station Robbery

A Los Angeles man who robbed gas stations and markets during a month-long crime spree that included a carjacking is expected to be sentenced Wednesday. Namir Greene, 23, pleaded guilty in September to one federal count of interference with commerce by robbery. During the crimes, Greene brandished a gun, threatening to shoot store employees if they did not retrieve money from the cash registers, according to his plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court. Greene admitted that on April 4, he robbed a Shell gas station in Marina del Rey by making a purchase and remaining inside the store until all other customers had left. After the gas station was empty, Greene placed a brown paper bag on the counter and told the clerk to "put everything in there." He pointed what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun, but was actually a BB gun, at the clerk while demanding cash. In fear, the clerk emptied the cash register and placed $700 into the bag. Greene then left.

Westside Current

Public Safety News

L.A. Hospital Seeks Help Identifying 2 ICU Patients

A local hospital is asking for help to identify two patients who were found unconscious in Santa Monica. The patients are described as a young man in his 20s and an elderly woman in her 70-80s, according to Providence Saint John’s Health Center. The patients have been admitted into the hospital’s ICU and staff are hoping to locate their family members. The first patient, a woman believed to be 70 to 80 years old, was found in an alleyway on Wednesday in Santa Monica. She was transported to Providence Saint John’s where she remains unconscious. She is described as standing 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing around 129 pounds. The second patient, a man in his mid-20s, was found under an overpass on Nov. 17. He was brought to the hospital where he also remains unconscious. Neither patient has any belongings to help staff identify them. Anyone who may recognize these patients is asked to call the ICU unit at 310-829-8745 or the hospital’s main number at 310-829-5511 and ask for the House Supervisor’s office.


LAFD Flags 23 Freeway Underpasses As Fire Hazards

LAFD Fire Inspectors visited 50 sites similar to the underpass where the 10 Freeway caught on fire. Of these 50 sites, the fire inspectors determined 23 of them to violate the Health and Safety Code regarding hazardous materials. Violations include possession of 55 gallons of a liquid, 200 cubic feet of a gas or 500 pounds of a solid. Improper storage and use of hazardous materials is also determined to be a violation of the Health and Safety Code. Owners were given a Notice of Violation and have 30 days to correct the sites that did not meet safety standards. LAFD Chief Kristin Crowley says the 23 properties in violation have been referred to the Office of the State Fire Marshal for further attention. "While the State has the fire inspection responsibilities for State-owned land, LAFD is committed to working collaboratively with the State Fire Marshal to ensure public safety in Los Angeles," said Fire Chief Crowley. LA Mayor Karen Bass thanked Fire Chief Crowley for coordinating the effort and "reducing the future risk of a similar incident."


Suicides In U.S. Hit Historic High In 2022, Driven By Increase Among Older Adults

Rising rates of suicide among older adults drove the number of such deaths to a historic high in the United States last year, even as suicide declined among youth, according to a report released Wednesday by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 49,000 people died by suicide in 2022 across the country, the highest tally recorded for the nation, according to federal figures. It’s the latest evidence of a troubling trend in the U.S., where suicide has been on the rise for much of the 21st century. The U.S. suicide rate fell somewhat between 2018 and 2020, but then resumed its upward trend, alarming health officials. After adjusting the raw numbers to account for the age distribution of Americans, CDC researchers found that the nation’s suicide rate last year was 14.3 deaths per 100,000 residents — a level not seen since 1941. The rate is based on preliminary figures for suicide deaths, which are expected to increase as 2022 deaths continue to be assessed and more of them are classified as suicides. The growing numbers were propelled by rising rates of suicide among people 35 or older, federal figures indicate. Between 2021 and 2022, rates actually fell among those younger than 25, but rose significantly for many groups of older adults, the report shows.

Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Approves Law Requiring Airbnb Hosts To Get Police Permits

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a law that will require hosts of short-term rentals, including Airbnbs, and hotels to obtain a police permit. City Council President Paul Krekorian and other backers of the proposal said the permit requirement will help the city crack down on party houses and properties that draw illicit behavior. More broadly, it will create a new regulatory hurdle for short-term rental and hotel operators, allowing the City Council and neighborhoods to challenge the issuance of the permits. The council voted 14 to 0 in favor of the law. Councilmember Kevin de León was absent. Despite supporting the police permit requirement, some council members voiced concerns that it would increase the workload of the Los Angeles Police Department, which issues the permits. Also, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson on Tuesday asked the city to look at potential alternatives to the police permit for short-term rental hosts. Harris-Dawson’s request gave hope to some in the short-term rental industry that the city will eventually drop the permit requirement.

Los Angeles Times

LA City Council Approves Citywide Expansion Plan For Crisis Response Program

The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved a motion calling for the citywide expansion of an alternative response program aimed at helping unhoused individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Council members voted 14-0 to request Mayor Karen Bass' office to report on a plan to expand the Crisis and Incident Response through Community Lead Engagement program as well as to identify funding sources to do so. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced the motion on Oct. 20 backed by Councilman Bob Blumenfield. The CIRCLE program, led by the mayor's office and established in 2021, provides 24/7 mobile crisis intervention in certain parts of the city. The program deploys a team of mental health professionals and individuals with lived experience to address nonviolent calls to the Los Angeles Police Department related to unhoused individuals experiencing a crisis. The program began as a pilot in January 2022, serving areas in Hollywood and Venice. Since then, CIRCLE has expanded and operates in Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, Venice and other areas of the San Fernando Valley. On Nov. 1, Bass expanded the program to serve the Sherman Oaks community, along the Ventura Boulevard business area.

Westside Current

About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 8,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education.

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