On Friday, authorities in California made a breakthrough in a 20-year-old double murder case by arresting a suspect in connection with the shooting deaths of a 25-year-old man and his 2-year-old daughter. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón disclosed that Jahon Terez Smith, 47, has been charged with multiple counts relating to various shooting incidents that occurred in 2001, as reported by KABC.
In a statement released by the DA’s office, it was mentioned that the accused is being charged with multiple murder under special circumstances. Furthermore, it is alleged that the attempted murders were committed with willful, deliberate, and premeditated intentions. The statement also mentions that the defendant personally used a handgun during the commission of the crimes.
According to investigators, gang violence led to the tragic killing of Stephen Murphy and his daughter Kali Murphy on August 8, 2001. The violence was believed to be in retaliation for the shooting death of a 22-year-old man in Compton a day earlier.
Richard Lawrence, who was caught in the crossfire of an ongoing war between two rival street gangs, was tragically shot and killed by unknown assailants, according to authorities.
According to Lt. Hugo Reynaga of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, there were five separate instances of drive-by shootings on the night following Lawrence’s murder. He further added that these shootings were believed to be a retaliation for Lawrence’s death, as reported by KABC. Reynaga stated that while Wednesday brought some positive developments for Stephen and Kali’s family, as well as investigators, it should not be considered a complete victory. “This case still has a long way to go,” he added.
Smith is facing charges of two counts of murder and four counts of attempted willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder. Gascón stated that this serves as a reminder to all those who think they can escape from the law. He emphasized that regardless of how much time has passed, they will relentlessly pursue justice for the victims and their families.
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