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Transient charged in kidnapping, slaying of 17-year-old Lily Burk [Updated]

More photos A transient accused in the slaying of 17-year-old Lily Burk was charged today with capital murder, kidnapping and two counts of robbery.

[Updated at 2:51 p.m.: Charles Samuel, 50, appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court today with his attorney. His arraignment was postponed for three weeks.]

The Los Angeles County Dist. Atty.'s Office said it will determine at a later point whether to seek the death penalty.

Police detectives arrested 50-year-old Charlie Samuel in connection with Burk's death. They allege that he kidnapped her near the Southwestern University College of Law on Friday afternoon and killed her after unsuccessfully trying to withdraw money using her credit card.

Police said today that fingerprints recovered from inside the Volvo match Samuel's.

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 a worker discovered Burk's body at 5th and South Alameda streets.

Burk had gone to the law school to pick up some papers for her mother, an entertainment attorney who teaches at the school.

-- Joel Rubin

Photo: Charles Samuel in court today. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (47)

I just hope that "insanity pleas" will not be used as a defense. This man should just be convicted and permanently put away.

Why waste taxdollars trying this killer. If our system want to try this killer let them pay the cost out of their own pockets. Don't waste my money on this criminal, just hang him .

When are the police going to release pictures of Charlie Samuel?

Liam, ironically, if the local citizens took your advice, it would be front-page news around the globe -- a Horrific Reflection of America's Dark Side. Whereas the mere murder of a sweet kid by a chronic criminal is just a one-off bit of local news.

Chronic drug addiction can make a person anti-social to the point of murder. Let's wake up America and realize that the crack and other drugs sweeping the country destroy thousands of people's lives every day!

I feel so bad for this girls family i cannot even imagaine how devastating this must be to them. I hope this guy gets the death penalty. this is incredibly sad.

If this was an ugly black girl it would have never made the news and we all would never be reading this. You know it is true!

How incredibly devastaing and trajic for this family I cant even imagine. I hope this guy gets the death peanatly

This case SCREAMS "death penalty" (with ACTUAL execution - what a concept!). Career criminal. Parole violator. Strong armed robbery. Kidnapping. Now, the brutal beating murder of an innocent. He contributes nothing positive to our society. Add it all up and it spells L-E-T-H-A-L I-N-J-E-C-T-I-O-N.

Aha! now I know why the LAT didn't want to show the guy's picture for so long... and now that they do, it's an unclear (but clear enough) side shot. Just as I thought he would look like.

If this is a death penalty case, I volunteer to be on the jury.

This rotten piece of .... should be executed on site and save the tax dollars for better use. This young girl had so much to look forward to and it is an outrage that this idiot is allowed to to take another breath. To even think that he had the gall to allegedly go buy drugs and/or alcohol and have no conscious
for the alleged crime that he committed is sickening. My heart
and compassion goes out to the family and friends of this fine
promising young girl who touched many people in such a positive manner.

I think this man is nothing but a big, fat baby who threw a fit when he didn't get what he wanted, and he heaped blame for his miserable life onto this poor girl.

Thank you liberal judges for letting this career criminal free to kill a special young lady. It's heartbreaking.

do you realize the lawyers who helped set him free might be from the same law school the mom teaches at ??

these lawyers and judges need to be investigated.

the Times's earlier narrative which talked about 2 different worlds intersecting is not quite true - this entirely innocent young woman was not struck by lightning or engulfed by a tidal wave - she was murdered by a career criminal that was not dealt with as he should have been, but rather he was coddled in just the manner the Times seems to endorse - pathetic!

what a horrible crime. This young teen became a victim of this monster that should get the death penalty. I am shocked at this savage/monster that has no regards for a human. there are no other words to descrive this criminal but a monster of society. this murder took place in the afternoon.

no words can take away the pain her family is suffering for their loss. god bless them and give them strenght to heal their pain.

Maybe this will wake up the local city government as to the HUGE problem that we have with the homeless and indigent downtown and how dangerous an overwhelming majority of them are. Unbelievable that we just barf these people out of prisons and onto the street and do absolutely nothing to protect the public from them. Unbelievable and in the light of litle girl's murder, unforgiveable.

How about we give it to him 3rd World Country Style??? This animal deserves nothing but a 50 cent bullet between the eyes. Transient??? Thats why I never give them anything they are all worthless. The ACLU is probably feeling pretty good about themselves for protecting animals like these on a daily basis!!! Losers!!!

This man deserves the death penalty. To take away an innocent life of such a beautiful gifted young women who had such a promising future angers me. I grieve and pray for her family.

"liam", your suggestion for Mr. Samuels punishment conjures up painful memories of this country's past. Are your sure your don't have a white sheet and hood hanging somewhere in your closet? He should be brought to justice, but does this story seem incredibly over-sensationalized to anyone else but me. Authorities wasted no time in finding "this" person's killer.Will justice ever be blind?????????

It helps to be street smart

The homeless can do no wrong. like other oppressed groups.
only TRANSIENTS and DRIFTERS. Not in my lifetime we will see headline "Homeless man accused in Homeicede"

The suspect is a black man. He is clearly being profiled and the police acted stupidly by arresting him. The Messiah should hold a news conference and denounce the police.

Homeless man charged in Homicide? no homeless can do no wrong like other oppressed groups. only TRANSIENTS and DRIFTERS commit crimes. How about puplishishing accussed rapsheet?

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