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Suspect in Lily Burk's slaying had 10 prior convictions, DA says

July 29, 2009 |  1:02 pm

The man charged in the slaying of 17-year-old Lily Burk has 10 criminal convictions in the last 30 years including felony burglary and home invasion, according to information from the L.A. Dist. Atty.'s Office.

Most of the convictions were for misdemeanor crimes such as DUI and theft, according to the information, which The Times requested.

Charles Samuel, 50, was charged Tuesday with murder, kidnapping and robbery -- charges that could make him subject to the death penalty.

Burk never returned to her family's Los Feliz home Friday after running an errand for her mother at Southwestern Law School in the city's Mid-Wilshire area. In the afternoon, she made two odd calls to her parents asking how to use a credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM. About 7 p.m., they contacted police to report her missing. Later that night, police tracked Burk's cellphone and ATM activity to the skid row and Little Tokyo areas, but a search into the early hours of Saturday morning turned up nothing.

 At dawn, however, Burk's lifeless body was discovered in the passenger seat of her Volvo in a downtown parking lot. She had been beaten about the head and her neck was slashed.

Here is the list of the suspect's convictions:

1978: Misdemeanor grand theft in San Bernardino County.

1981: Misdemeanor petty theft in San Bernardino.

1985: Misdemeanor providing false information to a peace office in San Bernardino.

1985: Misdemeanor under the influence of a controlled substance in San Bernardino.

1986: Misdemeanor under the influence of a controlled substance in San Bernardino.

1987: Felony home invasion robbery, felony burglary, unlawful taking of vehicle in San Bernardino.

1997: Felony burglary in San Bernardino.

2003: Misdemeanor driving on a suspended license in Los Angeles County.

2006: Felony petty theft with prior theft in Los Angeles.

2009: Misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia in Los Angeles.

Samuel has not entered a plea in Burk's slaying.

Police said they have collected footage from surveillance cameras showing Samuel driving away from the area of the law school in Burk's car with her in the passenger seat, with Burk at a downtown ATM machine and then abandoning the car late Friday afternoon in the parking lot where Burk's body was found.

Fingerprints lifted from the inside of the car have been matched to Samuel, who reportedly made incriminating statements to detectives after his arrest. They believe that Burk was killed within about 45 minutes of her last call to her parents and hours before she was reported missing.

-- Richard Winton