LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday charged a Los Angeles man – who was already awaiting trial for allegedly kidnapping, raping and setting a 16-year-old girl on fire – with capital murder for the killings of three more people.
Robert Lawrence Ransom Jr., 31, pleaded not guilty to the March 1 murder of Margarite Evans, 19, and the March 5 murders of Gisella Yauli and her son, Dillon Reyes.
The murder charges include the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Ransom.
Evans died after being found near the corner of West 93rd Street and South Grand Avenue. Four days later, Yauli, 28, and her son were found dead after a fire in their home in the 100 block of East 50th Street.
The indictment also charges Ransom with rape, attempted murder, kidnapping to commit robbery and second-degree robbery of a 16-year-old girl, who was forced into a white van last March 20. He had already been charged last year in connection with that attack, in which the girl eventually managed to escape.
Ransom – who was arrested March 27 by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division – is being held without bail and is scheduled to return to court on March 3 for a pretrial hearing.
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