Additional charges for man accused in homeless slayings
A man suspected of killing at least four people in savage attacks on Los Angeles County homeless residents earlier this year was charged with four additional counts of attempted murder, a prosecutor said after a court hearing Thursday.
Ramon Escobar, 47, of Houston, was arrested in late September and charged in a weekslong series of assaults that left homeless people beaten to death or comatose in downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
The additional attempted murders occurred during the same time when Escobar is accused of committing the other attacks. He faces four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder and six counts of robbery.
In an amended complaint filed Thursday, Escobar was charged with attempted murder and robbery in a Sept. 11 attack on Albert Gene Scott in Windsor Hills.
Another attempted murder charge stemmed from an attack Sept. 15 in MacArthur Park. Michelle Matice. Matice may have been a transient, but Scott was not homeless, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila.
Prosecutors also upgraded an attempted murder charge against Escobar to murder. Jorge Martinez, 63, was attacked Sept. 24 in Santa Monica and died six days later.
Escobar was arrested near the scene of the attack on Martinez. In a downtown courtroom early Thursday morning, Escobar pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the complaint, five victims were left comatose.
Escobar last lived in the Houston area, but police say he fled to Southern California after his aunt and uncle, Dina and Rogelio Escobar, disappeared in late August. Dina Escobar’s car was found burned on a beach in early September, and Houston police said they think they were victims of foul play.