Possible Serial Killer Who Targeted Homeless People in Custody

(PatriotWise.com) — Prosecutors in Los Angeles on Monday charged a man with four counts of murder in the November shooting deaths of three homeless men and a man from San Dimas, the Associated Press reported.

According to a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, was also charged with residential robbery and one count of being a felon with a firearm. Powell also faces special circumstances for committing multiple murders and murder in the course of a robbery.

Powell appeared in court Monday with his public defender. His arraignment was scheduled for January 8.

Powell was first arrested last week in connection with a robbery and deadly shooting at a residence in San Dimas. He was subsequently identified as a suspect in the fatal shootings of three homeless men in Los Angeles after the firearm found in his car was linked to the murders.

Powell is accused of murdering Jose Balanos, 37, who was found shot dead on November 26 in a south Los Angeles alley. At around 5:00 a.m. the following day, 62-year-old Mark Diggs was fatally shot while pushing a shopping cart near downtown LA. The body of a third victim, a 52-year-old man, was found in Lincoln Heights on November 29.

The name of the third homeless man is being withheld until the police can notify his family.

The victim in the San Dimas robbery, 42-year-old Nicholas Simbolon, was fatally shot in his home on the evening of November 28. Police obtained surveillance footage of the suspect’s vehicle. The following night, a Beverly Hills license plate reader alerted police, who pulled Powell over and arrested him.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, in a statement on Monday, credited the “swift actions of law enforcement” for the arrest of Powell, saying their work “undoubtedly saved lives.”

If convicted, Powell would face a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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