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Prosecutors charge 'Death Warrant' suspect in homeless stabbings

July 23, 2012 |  3:26 pm

Courtney Anthony Robinson was charged in recent stabbings of homeless people.Los Angeles County prosecutors charged a drifter from Florida with multiple counts of attempted murder Monday in connection with the stabbings of three Los Angeles-area homeless people in which the assailant attacked them while they slept and left behind rambling "death warrants."

Courtney Anthony Robinson, 38, faces three counts of attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. If convicted on all counts, he faces life in prison.

Robinson, who turned himself in to authorities Friday night, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the downtown Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

The arrest came a day after authorities asked for the public's help in tracking down Robinson, who at the time was described as a "person of interest" in several non-fatal attacks on middle-aged homeless people who had been stabbed in the back.

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 seeking help, with the weapon lodged between his shoulder blades, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

Last 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 similar 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."

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Robinson, who signed his "death warrants" as David Ben Keyes, targeted the victims "for specific reason." But detectives "don't want me to discuss what that particular reason was," Smith said at a weekend news conference.

Smith said Robinson also is believed to be responsible for two knife attacks in Santa Barbara.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Follow Andrew Blankstein on Twitter and Google+.

Photo: A prior booking photo of Courtney Anthony Robinson. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

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