Los Angeles Times

Hate crime, murder charges filed

- By Itzel Luna

A man has been charged with a hate crime after the slaying of a homeless person this month in Sylmar, authoritie­s said.

Eric Antonio Sanchez, 29, was charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder with a hate crime allegation in the death of Ryan Bush, 48, the L.A. County district attorney’s office announced Wednesday. Prosecutor­s say Sanchez targeted Bush because Bush was wearing women’s clothing.

Sanchez’s bail was set at $3 million, said Greg Risling, a spokespers­on for the district attorney’s office.

Sanchez is accused of shooting Bush in the early hours of July 5. Bush was speaking to another person when Sanchez “made disparagin­g and offensive comments” about Bush, authoritie­s said.

Sanchez fired multiple shots before fleeing. Bush later died at a hospital.

“Targeting someone because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientatio­n is unconscion­able,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said in a news release.

Sanchez is also charged with shooting at a bystander, who was not hit.

An arraignmen­t hearing took place Wednesday and will continue on Aug. 3 at the San Fernando Courthouse, Risling said.

“Hate crimes have spiked across the country in recent years and we remain steadfast in ensuring that we hold these violent individual­s accountabl­e while working to prevent such violence from happening in the future,” Gascón said.

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