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Suspect charged in murders of MTV coordinator, man in Pico-Union

Gabriel Ben-Meir, seen in this photo provided by his family, was found dead on a sidewalk near his apartment in L.A.'s Mid-City at about 1 a.m. Sunday, May 8, 2011.

May 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
In a news conference Friday afternoon, the LAPD announced details of murder charges in the death of MTV music coordinator Gabriel Ben-Meir and another man.

Destiny Young, 29, was charged with two counts of murder and five counts of second-degree robbery. Special circumstances of murder during a robbery and multiple murders were alleged.

Jabaar Thomas, 26, was charged with three counts of second-degree robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a handgun. Thomas was previously convicted of a similar crime on Feb. 5, 2010.

Richard Anderson, 33, was charged with six counts of second-degree robbery.

The robbery charges carried allegations that the crimes were street gang-related and that a principal used a shotgun.

The L.A. County District Attorney's Office recommended Young be held without bail. Bail recommendations were $340,000 for Thomas and $725,000 for Anderson.

All three suspects were arrested Wednesday in connection to a string of armed robberies in L.A. using a shotgun. A shotgun was recovered after the arrests.

"Between April 29th and May 11th, these three individuals, armed with a shotgun, committed a series of 10 robberies and two homicides in the Mid-City, Koreatown, Pico-Union and Southwest area of Los Angeles," Beck said. "These defendants targeted individuals who were walking or traveling alone in the early morning hours. They were indiscriminate in their choice of victims and their brief series of robberies quickly escalated into two senseless homicides."

All three suspects are scheduled to appear in court on June 2.

"We certainly believe that they had indiscriminate selection of their victims," said Beck. "There didn't seem to be a pattern in their victimology except for that they were objects of opportunity. They were largely pedestrians in densely populated areas of the city in hours when there weren't a lot of witnesses. So they were absolutely random crimes."

Gabriel Ben-Meir, 30, was shot in the back of the head with a shotgun early Sunday morning near his Mid-City apartment. Ben-Meir was a music and production coordinator at MTV. Police said Ben-Meir's wallet was missing, leading them to question whether the murder was a robbery gone wrong.

Police said witnesses linked two suspects to the murder of Ben-Meir.

Marcello Aragon, 35, was shot several times with a shotgun in the Pico-Union district on April 30. He was pronounced dead at California Hospital Medical Center in downtown L.A.

Anyone with information related to the cases is asked to contact the LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7.

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