LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to file charges Wednesday against the roommate of a minister who was found strangled to death inside his home in the Westmont area.

Ricardo Santiago of the DA’s office said the prosecution didn’t file the case against Toriano Benford, 43, because of a lack of sufficient evidence.

Benford was taken into custody Monday for the killing of 67-year-old Earnest Brannon.

Brannon was attacked around 10:40 p.m. Sunday at his residence in the 1100 block of West 98th Street, authorities said.

Family members said Brannon preached at a nearby church.

The victim’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. He wouldn’t harm a fly. He went to church every Sunday.”


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