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Suspect in Lily Burk's slaying has history of violent crimes, drug problems, police say

The  man who was arrested in connection with the slaying of 17-year-old Lily Burk is a transient with a history of violent crimes and drug problems, law enforcement sources told The Times.

Thumb 10-22-28Charlie Samuel, 50,  encountered the girl near the Southwestern University School of Law on Wilshire Boulevard, law enforcement sources told The Times. Burk had gone to the campus at the old Bullock's Wilshire building Friday to collect some papers for her mother, an attorney who worked there. The sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because the investigation was ongoing, told The Times that detectives believed the motive was robbery and that Burk appeared to have been abducted from that area.

Charlie Samuel was arrested at 5:30 p.m. Friday on suspicion of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia  on 3rd Street in downtown Los Angeles -- at least 12 hours before Lily's body was discovered nearby in her black Volvo at 5th and Alameda streets.

 Los Angeles Assistant Police Chief Earl Paysinger said metro officers detained Samuel, suspecting he had been involved in other criminal activity. The officers canvassed the area, looking for evidence of a possible crime but didn’t discover anything out of the ordinary, Paysinger said.

Police said Burk left her Los Feliz home at about 2:30 p.m. Friday to run an errand for her mother. She had gone to the law school.

Sometime after 2:30 p.m., Burk made two phone calls to her parents, asking how to get money from an ATM using her credit card. Police said they believed Burk’s death resulted from a “botched robbery.”

Her body was found at about 6 a.m. Saturday in the passenger seat of her black Volvo near Alameda and 5th streets. Investigators said it appeared Burk died from blunt force trauma and said there were signs of a struggle inside the car.

Updated, 6:30 p.m.: Sources familiar with his criminal past say he has been arrested previously for assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping and robbery. He has spent several years in state prison. However, his convictions are more limited and include robbery of an inhabited dwelling, burglary and petty theft.  

According to law enforcement records, Samuel also had been arrested April 23 on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood on a parole violation.

He listed his occupation to police as a recycler. According to a law enforcement source, Samuel entered a drug treatment program after that arrest. He had been released from state prison in February, where he was serving time after an arrest for petty theft with a  prior conviction, law enforcement sources said.

He was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held without bail.

-- Richard Winton and  Ari B. Bloomekatz

More on the Lily Burk case:

Lily Burk encountered suspect near law school, sources tell The Times

Suspect in Lily Burk's slaying has history of violent crimes, drug problems

Friends and family mourn Lily Burk

Girl, 17, found dead in downtown L.A.

Comments () | Archives (86)

wow......has a history of violent crimes and drug problems, yet he was free walking the streets...hmmmm.

Another preventable murder of an innocent 17 year old girl. Another perfect illustration of sheer cowardice from the residents of California who failed to treat this scumbag to a Jim Jones Cool Aid drink after his first few convictions of armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and robbery. This murder, the blood of another innocent victim, is on the people of California - they killed her for not preventing it, and so many others, from happening. So suffer in silence until you all DO SOMETHING to STOP THE CARNAGE.

It is shocking to anyone NOT from Los Angeles that prisoners are dropped off in the center of downtown and left there. Having been on an "art walk" in this area and been offered drugs just walking from the parking lot to the galleries, I wondered just what the legal system is FOR if this blatant behavior is tolerated. If someone has a HISTORY of violent behavior, why are they ever freed? In fact, to protect society they should be locked up in a high security prison for life. Insane or not- never, ever released. This young woman lost her life to a known predator. And THAT is a crime.

How many chances must we give people who refuse to change?

Let this be a lesson to the Govenator and all state officials about the early release of inmates from prison. Just because you people can't solve your budget problems you can't risk the public safety. Arnold I know you are capable of defending yourself and you have private security but, the average citizen doesn't. This suspect was in prison in Feb. arrested in April and committed murder in July. Wake up and put the money where it should go and not on benies for illegal aliens. Everyone has the right to come to America and make a better life for themselves but not on the backs of real taxpayers and honest citizens. Mr. President and Gov. make the path to citizenship possible and affordable but, get all the freeloaders out. Thats why this suspect was released because of your inability to simply balance the state checkbook. If you don't have a legitimate SS# then you shouldn't get free healthcare, free education, free welfare and free unemployment. Protect the children who belong here. It's outrageous that the police in LA can't inquire about a persons legal status to be here. And the baloney excuse of Com. Gates of well then people won't talk to us is irrelavant. What part of illegal don't you understand about illegal aliens. Even in Mexico and central America and every other place in the world they have the right to ask for your papers. Government has created the problem and government has to fix the problem.

If Charlie Samuel really is Lily Burk's killer, he's another testament to the brilliant work being done by the California Department of Corrections and REHABILITATION. I'm sure a cushy cell in a drug-filled tank at Folsom will be heaven on Earth for Samuel.

And many more like him will be let out soon....

Recycler? The only recycling going appears to be a cycle of arrests and releases assuring that he is back out on the street to commit more crimes. It is such a shame that these criminals rarely do hard time. Hopefully this extreme tragedy will wake up the libs that keep pushing to keep these criminals in society instead of behind bars, or better yet on death row!

I do not understand why this scum was allowed to roam the streets; he has a violent history- where is the 3 strike law in this case?

I extend my sympathy to the parents who bear no responsibity as one writer had stated.that a 17 year old should not be in the city alone..what a sad commentatry!!

We should be able to have our child drive to a law school to do an errand and then come homesafely.

Where was the security around the school?

THere has to be more to this. The police arrest someone based on a "possible" crime when there is no evidence of one? Please tell me there was something that linked this guy to the crime at hand and that this isn't just plucking a random "disposible" person to solve a crime....

So, basically, what this boils down to is that we wouldn't be hearing about any of this if it was a poor hispanic girl.

This is so sad!! It just sheds light on how jacked up our criminal /penal system is in handling repeat criminals or not handling them at all. They need to spend our tax dollars on REQUIRED rehabilitation programs in prison such as prison ministries, which statistically have High credibility and not release them until there's honest results. Jailbirds are coming out of prison worse than when they went in.

This is very, very sad. My condolences to this young woman's family.

Where is the booking photo?

As a resident of the area where Charlie Samuel was arrested earlier in the year, and someone who walks alone to the Red Line subway station, it would be extremely helpful to see his photo in case this guy is turned back out onto our streets.

Its insane that our children are not safe in this country, these criminals should all be killed after conviction, stop spending our tax dollars to care for these criminals. Our priorities in our country are out of wack!

Just another example of how the homeless advocates have made it impossible to deal with transients. When these people move into your neighborhood park, watch out - because here come the drug dealers, prostitutes and junkies and there will be nothing you can do about it. They have their rights!
LA is becoming more and more like a third world country every day.

Early release is not the problem here... America and California in particular over incarcerates its people more than any other country in the world. The governor's early release is geared towards non-violent offenders. Seriously.... several years in prison for someone who stole some pants or candy because he had a previous conviction over a decade ago? That is a waste of taxpayer money. The only ones who benefit from continued incarceration of non-violent offenders are those in law enforcement and corrections officers, with their insane amount of overtime.

Lock away the violent offenders for a long long time... but for petty drug users and non-violent offenders, don't use taxpayer money at $45k a year to keep them housed in prison.

Elsewhere in the Times: "Lawmakers passed $1.2 billion in cuts to the state prison system." Here is a very tragic case of what consequences those cuts will bring. And yet, legislators in the capitol continue to clap themselves on the back for this sorry excuse of a budget. Also in the Times: "Term limits have made this batch of lawmakers among the most inexperienced in decades, and many legislators, their attention focused on their next elected office, spent the night watching the moves of real or prospective opponents in upcoming primaries." There is no one in Sacramento with more than two terms in office, and everyone is afraid to legislate because of what it might mean to their next office run. The people who sold you term limits have sold you a bill of goods. It is time to end term limits so we can get rid of lobby money and find some legislators with spines. Forget all of that illegal alien claptrap, politcal slaves to campaign money are costing you much, much more.

Stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of the working people, and at the expense of education for our children and the safety of the public by releasing inmates from prison and County jail long before their sentence is up. Enough with this insane Republican platform of "No Taxes", and start taxing the citizens of this state so we can live in a decent and safe society. People won't mind paying a little extra tax here and there, if it means having our streets safe from scumbags like this. PLEASE!

Maybe this will help all those who oppose three-strikes to realize that this guy should not have been on the street. If he were in prison where career criminals belong, Lily would still be alive.

I'm a bit sceptical of this arrest. They could've picked up any one of the thousands of skid row inhabitants for SUSPICION of posessing drugs and drug paraphenalia. So suspicion of posession is not only cause for arrest, it is cause for suspicion of having committed an earlier crime?!?! The fact that the girl was white seems to always lead to the need to aprehend SOMEONE/ANYONE. Had the woman killed been black, I guarantee you the police would be attempting to frame the woman as a drug user and there would be no arrest, much less any media coverage of this at all.

What does Mr Samuel look like? Will the LAT show a photo?

I guarantee you that any such apparent abduction of a girl or woman would be reported whether she was "poor and hispanic" or armenian or black. Scroll back through the Times blogs-MOST of the crime victims I'm reading about are not white. They are reported upon. Way to go to complain about race issues when a kid has been foully murdered. By the way, why no mention of the race of the suspect? I note that every time there's no photograph or description the suspect is one "of color". If anything the paper is more PC than elitist.

This is one of the many "non-violent, drug user only" hoodlums that you "fiberal" clowns in Cali tout that shouldn't be in jail or in prison.

If this murderer were arrested in another state for his past crimes, he'd still be inside a prison, instead of roaming the streets looking for prey.

Keep passing new laws that promote drug use. We see it really helping us here in the streets.

Where is Obama's brilliant comment on this murder.

He is such an authority on these things.

Show a picture of the perp if the liberal LA times dares.


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