One of three co-defendants tied to a series of robberies that included the shotgun slayings of an MTV music coordinator and another man have been charged with capital murder, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Jabaar Vincent Thomas, 26, had been charged in connection with four robberies, but Wednesday prosecutors said the criminal complaint was amended to include the murders of Gabriel Ben-Meir and Marcelo Aragon.
In all, Thomas is charged with seven counts of second-degree robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a handgun, prosecutors said.
The special circumstances that are alleged, including murder for robbery and multiple murders, make Thomas eligible for the death penalty, although the decision whether to pursue a capital murder case will be made at a later date, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Aragon, 35, was killed on April 30 in the Pico-Union neighborhood between the Wilshire area and downtown Los Angeles. Authorities said both murder victims were killed by shotgun blasts. Ben-Meir, a 30-year-old MTV music coordinator, was killed on May 8 after parking his car outside his Wilshire area home.
Ben-Meir, who came from a Los Angeles entertainment family and aspired to continue his career in music, was shot at least once in the back of the head just steps from his front door.
The killing 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.
Prosecutors also added an additional robbery count against Destiny Young, 29, who was charged earlier with capital murder and six counts of second-degree robbery. They did not file additional charges against 33-year-old Richard Edward Anderson.
The defendants pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the amended complaint.