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Homeless man gets 16 years to life in mutilation murder

January 20, 2012 |  3:54 pm

A homeless man charged with killing and mutilating another man at a downtown homeless encampment pleaded no contest to second-degree murder Friday and was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Hilary Williams said Timothy Mark Bishop, 52, entered the plea to one count of second-degree murder and admitted an allegation that he used a broken bottle during the fatal attack on Robert Burrus.

Prosecutors presented evidence at a preliminary hearing that Bishop killed Burrus, 67, on July 31, 2009, after Burrus refused to lend him money to by rock cocaine.

Bishop broke a malt liquor bottle over Burrus' head and slashed his throat, the prosecutor said. Bishop then cut the victim's eyes, she added.

After the slaying, Bishop stole Burrus' cash and used it to buy rock cocaine throughout the night, prosecutors said.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Drew Edwards sentenced Bishop to a 16-years-to-life prison term. As part of the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop one count of second-degree robbery and a special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed during the course of a robbery.

The slaying occurred at a homeless encampment at 6th Street and Fremont Avenue near the 110 Freeway. Bishop was arrested in August 2009 after a witness told Central Division detectives he saw Bishop in a bloody jacket. The jacket, along with blood-stained money, were recovered from Bishop, according to Los Angeles Police Lt. Paul Vernon.

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-- Richard Winton

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