Suspect in stabbing death of Brianna Kupfer charged with murder, LA County DA announces

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The man accused of stabbing a 24-year-old UCLA grad student to death at her job last week was formally charged with her murder by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office on Friday.

Shawn Laval Smith, 31, is accused of stabbing Brianna Kupfer to death as she worked by herself at a furniture store located in the 300 block of North La Brea Avenue in Hancock Park.

"Those who show no compassion for human life will face serious consequences," L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said. "The murder of Brianna Kupfer has left Los Angeles County devastated, and my office is reaching out to her family to provide any services they may need."

Smith was arrested in Pasadena on Wednesday. He is charged with one count of murder and a special allegation that he used a knife as a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime. He is expected to be arraigned Friday.

RELATED: Suspect identified in stabbing death of 24-year-old woman in Hancock Park, $250K reward offered
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A $250,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the man accused of stabbing a 24-year-old furniture store worker to death in Hancock Park.

The DA is working with the Los Angeles Police Department to obtain additional evidence in this case, officials said.

Eyewitness News has learned that Smith had a prior arrest in Daly City in January 2021 for resisting arrest, obstructing an officer, and vandalism. Court records show Smith was arrested nearly a dozen times beginning in 2010 in South Carolina. He was also arrested in 2020 for a misdemeanor in Covina.

The Covina Police Department said he was arrested for possession of stolen property in which he was cited and later released.

Smith's arraignment was postponed until Feb. 17. His bail was set at $2 million.

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