Woman charged in killing of MTV music coordinator
Destiny Young, 29 of Los Angeles was arrested Wednesday in connection with a string of robberies in which the attackers were armed with a shotgun, the same type of weapon used in the killing of Gabriel Aron Ben-Meir, 30. She was charged in Ben-Meir's slaying.
Two men arrested with her -- Jabaar Vincent Thomas, 26, and Richard Edward Anderson, 33 -- were charged with the robberies. But prosecutors have asked the Los Angeles Police Department for more evidence about whether the pair also should be charged in Ben-Meir's killing.
Ben-Meir, who hailed from a Los Angeles entertainment family and aspired to continue his career in music, was shot at least once in the back of the head early Sunday just steps from his front door.
According to a law enforcement source, Thomas is a reputed gang member who was released from state prison in December after serving a sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Thomas has several felony convictions, including possession of cocaine, said the source, who asked not to be named because the investigation was ongoing. Young did not appear to have a criminal history.
Thomas and Young are suspected of committing at least nine armed robberies in the last two weeks in the Mid-City, Wilshire and Southwest Los Angeles areas, said LAPD Capt. Matt Blake.
Also arrested in connection with the robberies was San Fernando Valley resident Richard Edward Anderson, 33. He has not been linked to Ben-Meir's killing, police said.
Anderson, who has half a dozen convictions dating to at least 1998, was on parole for being in possession of a controlled substance, authorities said. Most of his convictions involved offenses related to drug possession and corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, authorities said.
On April 30, Marcelo Aragon was struck by a shotgun blast and robbed about 3:45 a.m. as he walked through a residential area in the 2700 block of West 12th Street, said LAPD Officer Sara Faden.
Thomas was being held in lieu of $2-million bail, police said, and Young was being held on $1-million bail. The two were arrested as they rode in a Ford Crown Victoria in Pico-Union, according to an LAPD source.
The vehicle was stopped because it matched a description of a car used in one of the robberies.
Detectives obtained search warrants for the vehicle and a home in South Los Angeles, which yielded evidence that allegedly connected Thomas and Young to the robberies and Ben-Meir's killing, according to the LAPD source.
Ben-Meir had just parked his BMW when he was killed on Packard Street between Stanley and Spaulding avenues, police said.
Residents told investigators they heard what sounded like a gunshot about 1:30 a.m., but they did not call police. A man walking his dog came across the body about 6:30 a.m.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton
Photo: Gabriel Aron Ben-Meir. Credit: Family handout