11/08/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/08/2018 17:17
A criminal complaint was amended today against a man accused of killing four people and injuring eight others in a series of attacks in Los Angeles and Santa Monica earlier this year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.
Ramon Alberto Escobar (dob 6/5/71) now faces four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder and six counts of second-degree robbery. The charging document also includes special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder during the commission of a robbery, making him eligible for the death penalty.
He pleaded not guilty today to all counts and is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 6 for a preliminary hearing setting.
Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila of the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.
On Sept. 16, Escobar is accused of beating three homeless men and robbing one of them in downtown Los Angeles. Two of the men, Branden Ridout and Kelvin Williams, were killed. Another man suffered serious injuries.
Escobar then allegedly beat, killed and robbed Steven Cruze whose body was found under the Santa Monica Pier on Sept. 20. The defendant also is accused of beating and robbing Jorge Martinez in Santa Monica on Sept. 24. Martinez was taken to a hospital where he later died.
The defendant also is accused of attacking a man on Sept. 8 at a Santa Monica beach, two people in Griffith Park a day later, and several others in separate incidents in Santa Monica and Los Angeles.
According to the criminal complaint, Escobar used a baseball bat or blunt object during the alleged crimes.
Escobar faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole or death if convicted as charged. A decision will be made at a later date on whether to seek the death penalty.
Case BA471690 remains under investigation by the Los Angeles and Santa Monica police departments.