Suspects Arrested In Armed Robbery By BHPD

July 18, 2024 ·

Rolex watch. Photo courtesy of Pratik Prasad via Unsplash.

BEVERLY HILLS—On Thursday, July 18, the Beverly Hills Police Department informed Canyon News via email that several suspects involved in an armed robbery have been arrested.

The BHPD reported an armed robbery transpired on Wednesday, July 17, at approximately 2:55 P.M. in the area of Canon Drive and Charleville Avenue. The suspects, at least two in number, confronted the victim as he sat in his car, produced handguns, and forcibly took his property, including a Rolex watch, a ring, and an iPhone, before fleeing in a vehicle. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Officers provided critical information to the Real-Time Watch Center (RTWC), which quickly identified the suspect’s vehicle and relayed the information to the Detective Bureau.

Utilizing Police Department resources, the suspect’s vehicle was located in the city of Hawthorne. The Hawthorne Police Department (HPD) located the suspect’s vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, which led to a pursuit. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) helicopter provided aerial assistance during the chase. Three suspects abandoned their vehicle in the area of 74th Street and Hoover Street in South Los Angeles
and fled on foot.

One suspect was quickly apprehended, while another suspect carjacked a victim in a further attempt to evade capture. After a short pursuit, the carjacked victim fled from the vehicle, and the suspect was apprehended.

LASD Deputies attempted to stop a vehicle containing a male matching the description of the outstanding suspect, leading to another pursuit. The pursuit ended in the 3900 block of Shedd Terrace, Culver City, where LASD Deputies apprehended the suspect.

The investigation is ongoing. Taken into police custody were:

  • Semaj Lopez, a 24-year-old from Los Angeles, California, was booked for PC 211 – Robbery
  • Michael Smith, a 19-year-old from Lancaster, California, was booked for PC 211 – Robbery
  • Daiyaan Henderson, a 21-year-old from Los Angeles, California, was booked for VC 2800.2 – Felony
    evading and seven (7) felony warrants.

By Trevor

Jestice James Charged With Murder In Fentanyl Deaths Of Twins

July 17, 2024 ·

A woman has been charged with the death of her twin boys who overdosed on fentanyl. Photo by Wesley Tingey via Unsplash.

TOPANGA CANYON—On Tuesday, July 16, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that a woman has been charged with murder in the deaths of her three-year-old twin sons who were allegedly exposed to drugs laced with fentanyl, the highly potent synthetic opioid.

Jestice James, 22, is charged in case 24VWCF01433 with two counts of murder and two counts of child abuse/endangerment under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily harm or death. She is being held in lieu of $4 million bail. Arraignment is set for today, Dept. 10 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch.

On July 11, shortly after 11 a.m., emergency crews responded to a home in the San Fernando Valley, where paramedics attempted life-saving measures on the twin boys, Josiah and Jestine. Both were taken to the hospital. Josiah died on July 11 and Jestine was pronounced deceased on July 13.

If convicted as charged, the defendant faces life in prison. The case is being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

By Trevor

Virtual Only Multi-Family ADU Community Workshop

July 17, 2024 ·

Photo courtesy of the city of Beverly Hills Facebook page.

BEVERLY HILLS—The city of Beverly Hills posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday, July 16 that an interactive virtual workshop will be held on July 31 to discuss potential changes to multi-family Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations. The virtual event will be held via Zoom.

Key topics that will be discussed include:

Key topics include:

-Height

-Floor area

-Setbacks

The public’s feedback is valuable for the city’s Planning Commission and the Beverly Hills City Council. To learn more details visit www.beverlyhills.org/adu. The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31. For additional questions the public can email longrange@beverlyhills.org

By Trevor

Montana Branch Library In Santa Monica Adds Self-Service Hours

July 17, 2024 ·

The Montana Branch Library in Santa Monica is now offering self-service hours. Photo by Olena Bohovyk via Unsplash.

SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on its website that the Montana Branch began offering self-service hours on Tuesday, July 9, via Open+, a comprehensive self-service model that provides controlled access to the library.

Community members who are pre-approved will be able to access the branch with a swipe of their Santa Monica Public Library Card on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – noon. Self-service hours allow users to pick up items on reserve, use the library space, access materials and resources, and use an internet computer.

Library patrons who sign the Self-Service Hours Application and Agreement, available online and at full-service locations, can scan their Library card at the entrance to gain access to the building. Registration to use the self-service locations is required. Patrons who have already registered for Fairview Branch or Ocean Park Branch self-service access do not need to register again.

Montana Avenue Branch / 1704 Montana Avenue

Tuesday & Thursday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Self-Service Hours

Montana Avenue Branch / 1704 Montana Ave.

Tuesday & Thursday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For more details on programs and services offered at each Santa Monica Public Library location, visit our online calendar.

Call (310) 458-8600 or email library@santamonica.gov with questions. To view all library locations and hours visit smpl.org.

By Trevor

Justice Department Seizes Holmby Hills Mansion In Corruption Scandal

July 17, 2024 ·

A mansion in Holmby Hills has been seized by the U.S. Justice Department. Photo by Daniel Barnes via Unsplash.

BEL AIR/BEVERLY HILLS—The United States Department of Justice disclosed in a news release on July 8 that they reached a settlement regarding a mansion in Holmby Hills that belonged to the family of Gagik Khachatryan, a former government official in the Republic of Armenia. According to reports the property was previously listed for $63 million. It is located on Mapleton Drive and is 33, 652 square feet the Los Angeles Times reported.

In 2011, a trust benefiting Khachatryan’s sons purchased the property with funds provided by an Armenian businessman for $14 million. During that time, Khachatryan was the most senior official in charge of taxes and customs in the Republic of Armenia. His sons claimed that the funds were provided as loans by the businessman, while the United States alleged the loans, which were repeatedly extended without repayment, were covers for bribe payments. The payments are the subject of pending criminal prosecutions in the Republic of Armenia.

Terms of the settlement indicate the mansion will be forfeited to the United States. The United States will sell the property at the highest obtainable market price and retain 85 percent of the net proceeds of the sale. The remaining net proceeds of the sale will be delivered to the Khachatryan’s sons and a corporation they own. The U.S. Attorney General has the discretionary authority to transfer forfeited property to any foreign country that participated directly or indirectly in the seizure or forfeiture of the property. The offices that brought the case intend to recommend transfer of some or all of the forfeited proceeds to the Republic of Armenia.

The FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force (EOCTF) and U.S. Marshals Service investigated the case. The EOCTF consists of multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Glendale Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The Justice Department’s Official of International Affairs, the Republic of Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s Office, and Armenian investigative authorities also provided critical assistance.

The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is led by a team of dedicated prosecutors in MLARS, in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies and often with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption. Individuals with details about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to kleptocracy@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail) or https://tips.fbi.gov/.

By Trevor

Woman Attacks Victim with Axe and Sets Cars Ablaze

July 16, 2024 ·

A car is arsoned in Hollywood Hills.

HOLLYWOOD HILLS — On Saturday, July 13, a woman – whose identity has not been released – was arrested after torching two vehicles near Argyle and Franklin Avenues, attacking a woman with an axe and threatening bystanders with the weapon. 

At around 10:30 a.m, cell phone video captured a black Toyota Prius being set on fire, sending flames and dark billowing smoke into the air. As the flames continued to grow, they spread to a white Jeep Cherokee SUV parked alongside the Prius. 

According to witnesses, the female suspect – described as a White woman with light brunette hair – ran into an apartment complex where she reportedly attacked a woman with an axe, KTLA reported. She also reportedly threatened bystanders with the weapon.

Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to the scene and arrested the female suspect who was bloodied. The female victim who was targeted was transported to a local hospital. The severity of the victim’s condition has not been disclosed.

The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived on scene and extinguished both burning vehicles. Both vehicles perished in the fire. No other victims or property damage has been reported. 

It remains unclear what the suspect’s motive was or if the owner of the Prius is the woman she attacked. The investigation remains ongoing.

By Lacy

Jameelah Michl Sentenced To 35 Years In Death Of Michael Latt

July 16, 2024 ·

The woman responsible for killing Michael Latt has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison. Photo by Humberto Portillo via Unsplash.

HOLLYWOOD HILLS—On July 10, 2024, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office disclosed that Jameelah Michl, 36, was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kerry White to 35 years to life in state prison in the shooting and killing of Michael Latt, 33, during an attack in his home in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles in November 2023.

Michl entered a plea in open court on June 24, 2024, and plead guilty to one count of first-degree murder, and one count of first-degree burglary. Michl also admitted the use of a firearm.

It is further alleged that Michl personally used a handgun during the commission of the crime. It also is alleged that another person, other than the accomplice, was present in the residence during the commission of the burglary.

On November 27, 2023, Michl went to the Latt’s Mid-Wilshire residence on the 900 block of Alandele Avenue after she targeted him for being friends with director, A.V. Rockwell, who directed the film “A Thousand and One” starring Teyana Taylor, who she was stalking. Michl worked as an extra on the filme. She knocked on the door, forcing herself into the residence once it was opened by one of the occupants. Michl, who was armed with a semi-automatic handgun, shot and killed the victim inside of the home.

Latt was a prominent figure in Hollywood working as a consultant and social justice advocate. He founded Lead With Love that was founded in 2019, where he worked with a variety of individuals in entertainment industry including directors Ava Duvernay and Ryan Coogler.

“Michael Latt is an award winning strategist, producer and founder of Lead With Love who has developed and led nationwide campaigns, impact initiatives and creative projects alongside influential artists, brands and organizations like Common, Ryan Coogler, Netflix, Emerson Collective, Sundance Film Festival, DGA, Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY, Frieze, UCLA, Barry Jenkins and more. His purpose-driven and innovative work has been recognized by press and institutions like his alma mater Chapman University where he was awarded Chapman’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award. Aligning his purpose and passion, Michael continues to dedicate his career to being of service, supporting influential women and artists of color and utilizing storytelling, art and more to spark lasting change and bring hope, love and inspiration to communities. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Latt founded his company Lead With Love in 2019 and currently acts as the company’s CEO. He is also on Leadership Advisory Committees for NeueHouse, Frieze and Real Wins,” reads the Lead With Love website.

His mother is Michelle Satter, who is a film executive. The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

By Trevor

Jeffery Brewer Jr. Charged With Sexual Assault

July 16, 2024 ·

Photo by David Veksler via Unsplash.

WESTWOOD—On July 10, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office disclosed that Jeffery Brewer, Jr., 41, was charged with breaking into a UCLA student housing apartment occupied by two female exchange students, and sexually assaulting one of them on July 5.

Jeffery Stott Brewer, Jr. was charged in case 24ARCF00986with one count of sexual penetration by use of force; and one count of first-degree residential burglary with person present.

It is further alleged Brewer committed the sexual assault during the commission of a burglary of the first degree. He was arraigned on July 9 and pleaded not guilty to all charges. A preliminary hearing setting is set for August 13 in Dept. 31 of the Airport Courthouse.

The LADA announced on July 5, at approx. 1:30 a.m., Brewer allegedly loitered outside of a UCLA student housing building before entering one of the residences. He knocked on one of the apartment doors and entered when a student opened the door. He left when he was asked to leave by two student residents.

Less than an hour later at approximately 2:40 a.m., the defendant allegedly broke into another residence within the same student housing, went into one of the student’s bedrooms and sexually assaulted her.

Brewer is being held on $1,150,000 bail. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life, plus 6 years, in state prison. The case is being investigated by the University of California Los Angeles Police Department.

By Trevor

Candidate Nomination Period To Run For City Office Open

July 16, 2024 ·

Photo courtesy Phil Scroggs via Unsplash.

SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on its website that on Monday, July 15, the candidate nomination period to run for city office was now open and will remain open until August 9. The city of Santa Monica will vote in the General Municipal Election on November 5.

Interested candidates are invited to make an appointment to meet with the City Clerk staff and pick up Nomination Packets to run for office.  Click here for the Candidate List of potential candidates who have pulled Nomination Papers.

A calendar on the Elections page can be viewed for important upcoming dates. For a Notice of Election, click on the following links (English/Spanish).

For details on the Business License Tax Modernization measure visit the Elections page. Deadlines for submitting Arguments and Rebuttals can be viewed here (English/Spanish).  To submit an Argument or Rebuttal contact the City Clerk’s Office at clerk@santamonica.gov or (310) 458-8211 for a form.

By Trevor

City Council Adopts Big Blue Bus 5-Year Plan

July 16, 2024 ·

Photo of Joseph Menjivar via Unsplash.

SANTA MONICA—On July 10, the city of Santa Monica announced that the SM City Council during its July 9 meeting, they adopted Brighter Blue, a five-year plan to improve Big Blue Bus service by providing riders with fast, sustainable and reliable access to jobs, healthcare, education and other essential services, and providing a world-class transit experience for major events, including the 2026 FIFA World Cup and 2028 Summer Olympics.

The Brighter Blue was developed as a result of post-pandemic travel behavior changes and a rapidly growing regional rail network. Informed by a comprehensive analysis of Big Blue Bus’s current services and an extensive 18-month community and stakeholder outreach effort, riders can anticipate the following service enhancements under Brighter Blue:

-More frequent service on most routes, including a high frequency network with weekday service every 10 minutes or better on select corridors during peak hours.

-Expanded operating hours so that most routes start earlier in the day, end later at night and operate on weekends.

-Improved connectivity to key destinations, such as the LAX/Metro Transit Center, Culver City Transit Center and the Metro Rail D Line extension.

“We are thrilled that City Council has approved the Department of Transportation’s Brighter Blue plan. Over the next five years, these enhancements will significantly elevate the experience for Big Blue Bus riders, drivers, and the broader Santa Monica and West Los Angeles community,” Santa Monica Department of Transportation Director Anuj Gupta said.

“While travel patterns have changed post-pandemic, the fundamentals of high-quality transit remain the same. Service needs to be fast, frequent, safe, and reliable to serve as an effective transportation mode. Concentrating investments on key high-frequency routes will create a stronger foundation for our overall network, making Big Blue Bus’s service more attractive and convenient, reducing wait times, and providing more flexibility to current and future riders planning their trips.”

Brighter Blue is among several Department of Transportation initiatives that provide an enhanced rider experience:

-Zero-Emission Bus Fleet: Big Blue Bus is an industry leader in sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. The agency is on pace to achieve a complete zero-emission, battery electric bus fleet by 2030.

-Safety Officer Program: The Department of Transportation launched a Transit Safety Officer Program in March 2024 to enhance safety for riders and employees. The program deploys unarmed security guards across the system wherever data shows their services are most needed.

-Automated Bus Lane Enforcement: Last summer, Big Blue Bus conducted a successful pilot of automated bus lane enforcement technology. Staff will present a recommendation for a permanent program to City Council for approval in FY2024-25.

-Communications System Upgrade: Big Blue Bus is upgrading its fleet communications system to provide better real-time bus arrival predictions and minimize service delays and disruptions.

-Better Blue Bus Stops: Big Blue Bus will continue to improve bus stops throughout its service area. Improvements include upgraded lighting, increased shade, larger boarding areas, and more seating options.

Implementation of the Brighter Blue service plan advances the Santa Monica City Council’s strategic priorities of Sustainable & Connected and Justice, Equity & Diversity. For detailed information about all the service improvements focused on for the next five years, visit www.brighterbluebbb.com.

By Trevor

Load
More