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Arrest in 'death warrant' stabbings of three homeless people

July 21, 2012 |  7:20 am

A "person of interest" in the stabbing of three homeless people over the last few weeks was questioned overnight after being arrested Friday, officials said.

Police are trying to determine if he is the attacker who left behind rambling "death warrants" on the homeless people, who were all stabbed in the back but survived.

Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Courtney Anthony Robinson was taken into custody shortly after 9 p.m. by an LAPD Hollywood gang officer. He has since been turned over to robbery-homicide detectives, Smith said.

Smith said LAPD officers working with Santa Monica police located Robinson. Based on the "death warrant" notes left on the victims, officials Thursday called the person they wanted to question David Ben Keyes, who they said has been missing for weeks from the Santa Barbara area. On Friday, they said his real name was Courtney Anthony Robinson.

The first attack was reported July 3 when a 56-year-old man was found bleeding with a large "hunting type" knife protruding from his back near 3rd and Main streets in downtown Los Angeles, according to law enforcement sources. The man crawled 100 yards looking for help with the weapon lodged between his shoulder blades, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

On Tuesday, another man was stabbed in a similar manner as he slept on a Santa Monica bus bench near the Third Street Promenade, officials said. Police Sgt. Richard Lewis confirmed that a "death warrant" note was found by detectives, but he did not give details.

On Thursday, a 54-year-old woman was stabbed as she slept near La Brea and De Longpre avenues, blocks from Hollywood High School, authorities said. Police said they recovered a black kitchen knife and another "warrant."

ALSO:

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-- Andrew Blankstein

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