Local

Roommate Of Minister Found Strangled In Westmont Accused Of Murder

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The roommate of a 67-year-old minister found strangled inside his ransacked home in unincorporated Westmont, near South Los Angeles, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Toriano Benford, 43, was arrested Monday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Crystal Hernandez said.

Benford is suspected of killing Earnest Brannon, who was found strangled about 10 p.m. Sunday at a home in the 1100 block of West 98th Street, authorities said.

Benford was being held on $1 million bail.

Family members said Brannon was a minister who preached at a nearby church.

Brannon’s granddaughter, Chalona Bell, said he raised her and was a peaceful man.

“He didn’t hate nobody, didn’t have one enemy,” she said.

“He liked to play guitar, the piano,” Bell said. “He wouldn’t harm a fly. He went to church every Sunday.”

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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