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Ex-convict charged with capital murder in Downey slayings

October 29, 2012 |  3:07 pm

Prosecutors charged a parolee Monday with multiple counts of capital murder, attempted murder, carjacking and kidnapping in connection with a Downey shooting rampage last week.

Jade Douglas Harris, 30, was arrested Thursday and booked into jail Friday after eyewitnesses and independent evidence gathered by Downey police linked Harris to last Wednesday's slayings, authorities said.

Harris could face the death penalty if convicted on the charges, which include three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, three counts of kidnapping for carjacking, three carjacking counts, two kidnapping counts and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Ex-convict charged with capital murder in Downey slayings

DOCUMENT: Ex-convict charged with capital murder

In a Downey courtroom Monday afternoon, Harris sat with his head bowed. He wore blue county-issued shirt and pants and did not enter a plea. His arraignment was postponed until Nov. 28.
The complaint also includes four special circumstance allegations--murder while lying in wait, murder in the commission of a kidnapping, murder in the commission of a carjacking and killing a witness to a crime.

Harris, a convicted felon and known gang member, allegedly went to a business on Cleta Street in response to a Craigslist ad for a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.

At the business, he shot and killed Josimar Rojas, 26 and Irene Cardenas Reyes, 35, who were employees of United States Fire Protection Services. He shot another woman at the business, authorities said.

Harris then allegedly forced  Susana Perez Ruelas, 34, to drive him and her 13-year-old son to their nearby home, where the Camaro was parked. At the house, he shot and killed Perez Ruelas and wounded the boy, prosecutors said.

A press release from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office laid out the circumstances of the shooting, which matches the narrative given by family members to The Times.

Downey police still have not publicly confirmed that account.

"We are trying to make sense of these events," said Downey police Lt. Dean Milligan, adding that evidence allegedly shows Harris was the shooter.

According to law enforcement records reviewed by The Times, Harris, who lives in South Los Angeles, is unemployed and a member of the Rollin 40s Crips and on parole for second-degree robbery.

Harris has previously been convicted for robbery, attempted robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, the D.A.’s office said. According to records, he was released in July and placed on parole.

 The district attorney's office will decide later whether to seek the death penalty. Because of the nature of the charges, prosecutors have asked Harris to be held without bail.


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-- Richard Winton in Downey and Wesley Lowery in Los Angeles