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Walmart beating: Motive may have been random

November 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man was beaten to death inside a Walmart with a baseball bat Tuesday afternoon. Investigators say the motive may have been completely random.

The suspect in the case, 47-year-old Richard Laurance Kalfin, made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. Investigators described him as a transient.

Kalfin was in court for 41 seconds and was charged with one count of murder. He is accused of killing 74-year-old David Oakleaf.

Investigators say the attack on Oakleaf was not provoked.

Oakleaf went to the Lakewood Walmart to run an errand. Officials say Kalfin asked Oakleaf for some money. When Oakleaf said no, Kalfin grabbed an aluminum baseball bat and hit Oakleaf in the head a number of times.

Oakleaf died in the store.

Oakleaf's Long Beach neighbors have put together a memorial of candles and a large cardboard condolance card at the foot of his driveway.

Neighbors said he was a fixture in the neighborhood for years.

"All the kids in the neighborhood, there's a ton of kids on this block, and they'd all play with his dogs who were so friendly," said neighbor Sebrina Maae. "He'd say hi to everybody, so we are definitely going to miss that."

Joannis Mulitauaopele says Oakleaf welcomed his family with open arms when they moved in 15 years ago.

"He is a big part of this community," said Mulitauaopele. "He was the first one that was here since everybody in this neighborhood got here. Just sad."

"I don't think any normal person in their right mind would do something like that," said neighbor Nichelle Sullivan. "It's just a very sad day in Indiana [Avenue]. You know we've lost a good neighbor."

Kalfin's arraignment has been postponed until Nov. 22. He remains in custody with his bail set at $1,080,000.

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