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Three plead not guilty in connection with killing of MTV music coordinator

June 2, 2011 | 12:54 pm

Gabriel Aron Ben-Meir Two men and a woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony charges in connection with a series of robberies police say are linked to the shotgun slayings of an MTV music coordinator and another man.

Destiny Young, 29 of Los Angeles faces two murder charges in connection with the robbery-murder of Gabriel Aron Ben-Meir, 30 and a separate April 30 slaying.

Jabaar Vincent Thomas, 26, and Richard Edward Anderson, 33, have been charged with multiple robberies. Prosecutors have asked the Los Angeles Police Department for more evidence concerning Thomas' possible link to Ben-Meir's killing.

The defendants all are due back in court for a preliminary hearing setting June 9.

Ben-Meir was shot at least once in the back of the head early Sunday just steps from his front door. His slaying shocked family members, colleagues at MTV and neighbors in the tranquil neighborhood lined with shady trees and manicured front yards, just a short drive from the Miracle Mile. 

He hailed from a Los Angeles entertainment family and aspired to continue his career in music. 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.

The LAPD also is investigating the April 30 killing of Marcelo Aragon who was struck by a shotgun blast and robbed about 3:45 a.m. on April 30 as he walked through a residential area in the 2700 block of West 12th Street.

Thomas, who LAPD investigators say is suspected in the Ben-Meir killing, 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 Mid-City, Wilshire and Southwest Los Angeles areas from late April to mid May.

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.


Family of slain MTV music coordinator speaks out

Woman charged in killing of MTV music coordinator

--Andrew Blansktein
Twitter: @anblanx

Photo: Gabriel Aron Ben-Meir