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Suspect charged in rape, slaying of pregnant Venice woman spent time at state mental facility [Updated]


A man accused of raping and fatally stabbing a Venice woman who was four months pregnant with twins spent time at a state mental facility earlier this year, according to law enforcement sources.

[Updated at 11:26 p.m.: Boneetio Kentro Washington of Culver City was charged with capital murder and will be arraigned later today.]

LAPD detectives said they are trying to determine whether he is connected to other crimes in the area.

Eun Kang, a 38-year-old owner of a Beverly Hills dry cleaning business, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her apartment in the 1600 block of Electric Avenue late Tuesday night.

Police said they believe the attack was random and that Kang didn’t know Washington. Santiago Ortiz, 62, who lived in the same apartment complex as Kang, said he did not see her very often because “she worked all the time.”

He said that when she ran into him, she always said hello with a smile. Ortiz said Kang moved in several years ago and lived in the apartment by herself.

“She was quiet and friendly,” he said. “I felt very sad that something so disturbing happened to her. It’s terrible.”

Kang was the owner of P-1 Cleaners. Neighboring business owners said they brought their clothes to her store. Nancy Josephson, owner of Davida’s Gift Shop on the floor above P-1 Cleaners, said she saw Kang frequently in the business complex and that the two would exchange a few words about the remodeling in the building.

She said she hadn’t seen Kang for a few days, but didn’t think much of it.

“She was a very nice girl,” Josephson said. “We didn’t know anything had happened to her.” Josephson said Kang worked at the dry cleaners by herself.

She said Kang used to practice playing drums when she didn’t have clients and was finished with her work.

Anita Hall, an accountant at Bachrach Associates and Insurance Services, said she was supposed to pick up a piece of dry cleaning today. “That’s crazy,” she said after she learned of what happened to Kang. “I didn’t even know her first name.”

Washington had previous arrests for burglary and trespassing but nothing in his past that appeared to show a predisposition to the kind of violence he is now accused of committing, sources familiar with the case told The Times.

The sources asked not to be identified because the investigation was continuing. They stressed, however, that the case was in its preliminary stages and further information could be developed.

Court records show that Washington previously pleaded no contest to one count of residential burglary that was committed in December 2008. The case was delayed after a doctor testified that Washington was not mentally competent to stand trial. Washington was committed to Patton State Mental Hospital on July 7. On Sept. 18, Washington returned to court with a certification from the facility that he was mentally able to stand trial.

He pleaded no contest to first-degree residential burglary and was placed on formal probation before his release from custody on the basis of previous time served and credit for work and good behavior.

Neighbors on Electric Avenue -- across the way from an industrial yard and just a block off the chic Abbot Kinney neighborhood -- came by throughout the morning to see the victim's home.

Erika Martinez, 25, stood outside her office just down the street from Kang's duplex, shaken by the morning's news.

"Usually my bosses don't want me to leave after them," said Martinez, an office manager at a Venice production company. "Now it's even more so; you have to be aware of your surroundings. Its scary. "

[Updated at 3:56 p.m., Dec. 16: An earlier version of this post reported incorrectly that the victim was two months pregnant.]

-- Andrew Blankstein and My-Thuan Tran in Los Angeles, Robert Faturechi and Robert J. Lopez in Venice

Photo: A memorial with incense and fresh flowers sits outside the home of Eun Kang. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (63)

California needs to reform their death penalty... there should be a more streamlined method of hearing all the appeals. 3 years max from date of conviction with a death penalty. The death row in our state is a JOKE.

I am glad that people point out typos. Typos are distracting (to some) and undermine confidence in the quality of the content. I wonder if the print versions have the same typos or if the typos are a result of the rush to get things on-line asap.

This was an assasination of the beautiful by the ugly. There is a darkness to it beyond mere coincidence and all of our futures have been compromised.

Why would any of many of the comments above even be here? This young Woman, future Mother with two innocent/BEAUTIFUL lives within her was raped and murdered. Raped. Violated. For nothing at all... by a an utter an absolute stranger. I cannot imagine. I don't want to. I can't think what must have been going through her mind, or the witnesses that saw the crime and called the Police (I wish they'd done more, though I certainly understand). I don't know how the unborn babies' Father feels, if he knows. We have no idea how Ms. Kang's Parents or siblings are doing. I'd rather die than hear such a thing about either of my Daughters. I live in Venice - since the late '60's. I don't know about sketchy. I know about the local homeless. I know about the local gangs. None of them did this horrific thing, some animal came from elsewhere to California, to Culver City, to Venice . . . to do this. And I am so very sorry and sad to hear about it... Some of you who have written above should feel the same, PLUS ashamed.

I'm sorry, I am aware that the offender was/is an African American. That being said, would the color of his skin be the reason or the cause of this hideous crime?

I would be less inclined to argue if you screamed for the death of the individual, but if you wanted all Latinos killed due to Richard Ramirez or all Whites jailed to avoid another Jeffery Dahmer or all Asians kept out of schools so that they don't be(come) Seung-Hui Cho, I think we'd have a bit of a problem as a society.

Your replies and responses to the contrary are welcome, but are also irrelevant, as are your 'thoughts', opinions and blatantly, proudly ignorant existence.

Let me help you out, I'm both all and none of the above. have at me. I like it.

wow, a lot of personal hatred built up in this community towards one group or another. this is a senseless crime and for someone new to this city, rather revealing of the underlying suppressed violence of this city's culture. as Angelinos we should mourn the loss of one of our fallen sisters and not politicize her passing for one or anothers agendas of division.

You guys aren't respecting his "culture."

Question 1: How is Washington connected to Kang's murder? Q 2: Is there any evidence? Q 3: How do we know he is black? Comment: the hatred and racism in LA is really scary... Q4: how can people condemn someone who has only been acussed?

This guys was not from NC..e got arrested for simple assault in NC...And he left NC...Rest assured if he did this crime in NC he would be in Raleigh, NC awaiting the chair if "the good ole boys" didn't get him first.

Anything less then life in prison would be too lenient for this dirt bag!
Death penalty would be even better.

My condolences go out to her and her family. I work in the same building as her, and would pass by her shop every day. She was a very pleasant individual. This is probably about the most awful story I've heard in a long time.

Obviously crazy. Nobody should ever have to live near this menace. Not even prisoners. Y'know wudamean?

I become overwhelmed when i read such events.

I imagine it so clearly, how this poor woman ended her life, unwarranted, undeserved, and completely random, and senseless.

I moved to Europe in part due to these horrible things which are so specific to the States...they overwhelm me.

People are so detached within this country.

I am paralyzed with sadness reading this one isolated event of many and will have it on my mind for a long time to come.

The human race will never evolve.

The gutless coward of a landlord that lived next door that only knocked on the window and told the scumbag to stop should have the same thing happen to him.

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