Jose Bolanos Mark Diggs Unidentified 52-year-old man Nicholas Simbolon : “Man Charged with 4 Counts of Murder in Fatal Shootings of Homeless Men in Los Angeles”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : LOS ANGELES — A man has been charged with four counts of murder in connection with the fatal shootings of three homeless men in Los Angeles and a suburban resident last month, according to prosecutors. Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, also faces one count of residential robbery and one count of being a felon with a firearm, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The charges against Powell include special circumstances of committing multiple murders, murder in the course of a robbery, as well as personal use of a firearm allegations.

Powell appeared in court on Monday with his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Carlos Bido. However, he did not enter a plea, and his arraignment has been continued to January 8. The public defender’s office issued a statement saying that they will vigorously defend Powell and hold the prosecution to its burden of proof.

Authorities initially arrested Powell as a suspect in a deadly shooting during a robbery in San Dimas, east of Los Angeles. Later, he was identified as a suspect in the killings of the three homeless men when a firearm found in his car was linked to those shootings.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore stated during a press conference that the motive for the killings of the homeless victims is still unknown. The victims were identified as Jose Bolanos, 37, Mark Diggs, 62, and an unidentified 52-year-old man. Another victim, Nicholas Simbolon, 42, was shot dead at his home in San Dimas.

Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous county with about 10 million people, is also home to a significant homeless population. According to a 2022 federal tally, more than 75,000 people were homeless across the county on any given night. Advocates for homeless people emphasize that those living on the streets are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

If convicted on all charges, Powell faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. The district attorney expressed gratitude to law enforcement for their swift actions, stating that they undoubtedly saved lives.

In a separate incident, five homeless people were shot in Las Vegas on Friday, with one fatality. However, Las Vegas police have ruled out any correlation with the Los Angeles shootings. Additionally, in Orange County, California, a man was charged with killing four homeless men in a series of stabbings from late 2011 to early 2012. The suspect died while awaiting trial.

As investigations continue, authorities are working to ensure the safety of homeless individuals and bring justice to the victims of these senseless crimes.

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