LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Three transients accused of fatally stabbing a 27-year-old Lynwood woman near Hollywood & Highland all plead not guilty Friday.
Dustin James Kinnear, 26, was charged with murder Thursday in the death of Christine Calderon.
Alleged accomplice Jason Joel Wolstone, 33, was charged with assault by means likely to produce bodily injury and two counts of accessory after the fact, and Brian Joseph Widdows, 34, was charged with two counts of accessory after the fact.
All three suspects have prior records, Los Angeles police said.
The men were allegedly involved in a dispute with Calderon after she took their picture Tuesday evening and they demanded she give them $1, according to investigators.
Authorities said Calderon was walking outside the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex with a male friend when the struggle erupted and Calderon was stabbed in the torso while her friend was restrained from helping her.
Calderon was transported to a local hospital where she died of her injuries.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reported from Hollywood and Highland were some people said adding extra police in the area would not be a bad thing.
“This is barbaric behavior and I’ll be damned if we’re gonna roll things back in Hollywood when we made too much progress to see this sort of, you know, complete disrespect and disregard,” Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti said.
Kinnear’s mother, a police detective in Tuscon, had no idea her son was arrested until she was contacted by CBS2 Thursday.
She said her son is severely mentally ill.
“It’s been a matter of when this would happen to be honest with you. I just couldn’t get him the help he needed,” she said. “I’m not justifying what my son did. He needs to pay for it.”
Postings found on Kinnear’s Facebook page revealed several disturbing messages.
“Trying 2 quit smoking. Someone got 2 die”, “Life sucks even when ur dead”, and “Lost in my head and wishing I had a soul tonight” (sic).
The three men were scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning but proceedings didn’t get underway until the afternoon. Bailiffs said Kinnear had been uncooperative. Both he and Wolstone appeared in court wearing yellow jail clothes, which often designate psychological issues.
During the arraignment, Kinnear, a large, broad-shouldered man with a mass of shoulder-length red hair and a long, scraggly goatee, stood quietly and answered Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba with a polite, “Yes, ma’am” when asked if he would consent to July 3 as his next court date.
Torrealba set bail for him at $1,030,000.
Wolstone, thin and pale with tangled, shoulder-length brown hair and a scruffy beard, stood next to Widdows, who sported a tattoo on his shaved head. Bail was set for both Wolstone and Widdows at $500,000.
All three were ordered to return to court July 3, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial.
Calderon’s mother, Yolande Tassin, told various media outlets she believes her daughter, who was black with an almost-shaved head and was a lesbian, was a victim of a hate crime.
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