uPALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — A homeless man has been charged with killing three people during a Southern California robbery as the victims sat in cars.
Los Angeles County authorities on Monday announced that 35-year-old Jonathan Misirli is facing three counts of murder, one of attempted murder and a robbery count stemming from the January attack.
Three men were killed and one was shot in the face as they sat in two cars on a remote road.
Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred tells the Los Angeles Times that the shooting wasn’t random but won’t say whether Misirli and the other men drove together to the location or what was taken.
Misirli was arrested on April 30 in Los Angeles, where he’d apparently been camping in Griffith Park. He’s being held without bail.
uWITNESS DIES BEFORE TESTIFYING IN FATAL WAREHOUSE FIRE TRIAL: OAKLAND (AP) — A key witness scheduled to testify this week in the involuntary manslaughter trial involving a Northern California warehouse fire that killed 36 people has died in a car crash.
Alameda County prosecutors told a judge Monday that Robert Jacobitz was killed over the weekend. Prosecutors say Jacobitz was hired as an unlicensed contractor to do inexpensive wiring at the Oakland warehouse three years before a fire erupted in the illegally converted building in December 2016.
Investigators looked closely at the warehouse’s electrical system before concluding the cause of the fire could not be determined.
Testimony in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Derick Almena and Max Harris started Monday in Oakland. Each faces 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors say they turned the warehouse into an unsafe entertainment venue and residence.
uNINTH DEAD WHALE FOUND IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: SAUSALITO (AP) — Marine mammal experts are concerned about the death of a gray whale that washed ashore in San Francisco.
The whale found Monday on Ocean Beach was the ninth discovered in the San Francisco Bay Area since March.
The Marine Mammal Center plans a necropsy to determine what killed the animal.
The center says four previous whales died from malnutrition and three were struck by ships. The cause of death for another hasn’t been determined.
But the center says biologists have spotted gray whales in poor condition during this year’s annual migration from Mexico to Alaska. They suspect some are having trouble finding enough to eat as warming ocean conditions cause changes to their food supplies, which can range from krill and small shrimp-like animals to small fish.
LOVE-SPELL EXTORTIONIST GETS 2 YEARS IN US FEDERAL PRISON: SAN DIEGO (AP) — An Argentinian man who ran an international extortion scheme that victimized lovelorn believers in witchcraft has been sentenced in California to two years in prison.
Ariel Boiteux was sentenced Monday in San Diego federal court.
Authorities say Boiteux and his associates, working out of Paraguay, placed online ads offering to perform magic spells to help people find love. Clients were told to record themselves performing sexual acts and send the recordings to Boiteux to complete the spells.
Instead, authorities say victims were threatened with having their recordings posted online unless they paid up. One public figure reportedly received demands for $250,000.
Authorities say more than 200 people worldwide were conned.
Boiteux was arrested in Paraguay, extradited and pleaded guilty last year to foreign transmission of an extortionate threat.