MALIBU—Homicide Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced on Friday, October 27 that two suspects responsible for the murder of Javonnta Marshann Murphy, have been arrested and charged. On October 3, Joshua Lee Simmons and Dennis Eugene Vance were arrested in connection with the murder of Murphy, whose body was recovered inside a barrel at Malibu Lagoon State Beach.
At approximately 10:10 a.m., on July 31, a lifeguard from Malibu Beach noticed a 55-gallon plastic barrel drum floating in the lagoon. The lifeguard retrieved the 55-gallon plastic barrel drum, opened it, and discovered a deceased Black male, unclothed.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Simmons was also responsible for an Attempted Robbery in El Monte. On October 5, both suspects were arraigned, and charges were filed against Simmons, 37, and Dennis Vance, 41.
Simmons was charged with Murder – 187 P.C., Personal use of a firearm allegation – 12022.58 P.C., and Criminal Threats – 422(a) P.C. He was also charged with Attempted Robbery – 664/211 P.C., and two counts of Criminal Threats – 422(a) P.C., with a Personal Use of Bear Spray allegation – 12022(b)(1) P.C., in connection with the Attempted Robbery that occurred in El Monte on September 2.
Vance was charged with one count of Accessory After the Fact – 32 P.C., in connection with the murder of Murphy. Both suspects in the case are known to be acquaintances of the victim.
At this time the motive of this case is unknown. There is no additional information available at this time. Anyone with details about the incident is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.