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Escobar Charged With Murder, Attempted Murder in Santa Monica, LA Assaults
By Jorge Casuso
September 26, 2018 -- The suspect in a series of brutal assaults in Santa Monica and Los Angeles this month mostly aimed at homeless men was formally charged Wednesday with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office also charged the suspect, Ramon Escobar, 49 of Houston, Texas, with four counts of robbery.
On Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said Escobar, a native of El Salvador, was departed back to his country six times between 1977 and 2011.
Escobar -- who police said spent five years in a Texas prison for burglary from 1995 to 2000 -- was allowed to remain in the country on an “order of supervision” after U.S. courts granted an appeal of his immigration case in December 2016.
During a brief court appearance on Wednesday, Escobar "appeared expressionless," according to a report by Reuters.
He only spoke to answer 'Yes, sir,'" when the judge asked if he agreed to postponing his arraignment until November 8.
Four of the eight assaults police say Escobar committed between September 8 and 24 took place in Santa Monica, with the final one leading to his arrest Monday.
Three of the assaults took place on the beach, police said. The last took place at the southwestern edge of Downtown, where police said Escobar used a bolt cutter to club his victim.
Escobar used a wooden bat to bludgeon most of his victims, striking them on the head while they were sleeping before sunrise, police said.
All but one -- who was sleeping under the pier after an all night fishing trip -- was homeless.
Homeless himself, Escobar's motive appeared to be robbery, police said.
Escobar, who is in jail without bond, is a “person of interest” in a Houston police investigation into the disappearance of the aunt and uncle he lived with before they were reported missing.
His aunt's van was found in Galveston, Texas, where it had been burned and abandoned.
Escobar fled Texas after being questioned on August 30 by Houston police and arrived by car in Southern California on September 5, police said.
Three days later, he committed his first assault in Santa Monica, police said.
If convicted of murder, Escobar faces a minimum sentence of life without parole.
Anyone with information related to this investigation should call Detective Leone (310) 458-8949; Detective Cooper (310) 458-8478; or the Santa Monica Police Department at(310) 458-8491.
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