STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — Four men charged with killing an Azusa man and dumping his body in a nearby canyon earlier this year pleaded not guilty to capital murder in a Pomona courthouse Monday.
Hercules Dimitrios Balaskas, 19, Francisco Amigon, 19, Jacob Hunter, 19, and Matthew Martin Capiendo Luzon, 21, are charged with murder, residential robbery and kidnapping in the death of Julian Hamori-Andrade, whose body was found in the Angeles National Forest near Hwy. 39 in Azusa on May 30.
Earlier that week, police found a bloody scene at a home on the corner of Goodway Drive and Duell Street in Azusa and later determined it was where the 20-year-old was killed.
Investigators claimed Hamori-Andrade was beaten with a metal chair, a rock and a glass pipe inside the home before being dragged to a suspect’s truck and dumped in the canyon.
The murder charge includes a special circumstance of lying in wait. A fifth suspect, Andrew Joseph Michael Williams, is charged with the same counts, excluding the special circumstance, and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.
Desiree Andrade pleaded with the Capiendo Luzon to turn himself in after the other three original suspects were arrested. “It’s just brutal, brutal, and I can’t believe that these kids that young are capable of doing such a horrific thing to my son,” Andrade said at the time. “Do us all a favor, give me that closure, please.”
Andrade said her son had a 9-month-old baby and had another child on the way.
The suspects could face the death penalty, should prosecutors decide to seek capital punishment. A preliminary hearing is set for October 29.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)