By Edwin Folven, 11/29/2012
Homicide suspects to be arraigned on Friday
Four suspects are scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 30 for the murder of a 42-year-old Laurel Avenue resident who was found shot to death on his front porch on Nov. 1.
Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said the crime was gang-related, but no further information would be released until a preliminary hearing occurs. A criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that the victim, Erik Poltorak, was murdered because he had witnessed a separate crime.
The criminal complaint names the defendants as Allen Edward Williams, 23, Michael Thomas, 47, Yvonne DeCarlos Keith, 49, and Jessicha Tomasina Thomas, 20. Williams allegedly fired the shot that killed Poltorak, and Michael Thomas and Keith also participated in the crime. All three are charged with one count of murder. Jessicha Thomas is charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact, a felony, for allegedly helping the other three defendants after the murder. Det. Jim Freund, of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau Homicide Unit, said the case is still under investigation, and would not provide any further details. The criminal case was filed on Nov. 7.
Poltorak lived in a single-family residence on Laurel Avenue, just north of Beverly Boulevard. A co-worker found his body around 11:20 a.m. on Nov. 1. He had reportedly been shot with a shotgun. Neighbors reported hearing what sounded like gunshots between 2 and 2:30 a.m., but did not notify authorities.
Poltorak has been described in media reports as executive vice president of an intimate apparel company called Roleplayfashion. Media reports also stated that Poltorak had been robbed previously and may have been called to be a witness in an upcoming court trial. Neither Robison or Freund would comment on those details. Robison said specifics are generally kept confidential in cases where a witness to a crime has been murdered.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact investigators with the LAPD’s West Bureau Homicide Unit at (213)382-9470. During weekends and off-hours, people can call (877)LAPD247.
Tags | murder on Laurel Avenue