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4 charged in 2016 Autumn Johnson murder

The four suspects are expected to be arraigned Oct 13, 2017.

Compton Herald | Autumn Johnson
Autumn Johnson. Source: family photo.

Compton toddler Autumn Johnson slain in crib by gang-related stray round fired into home

COMPTON (MNS) — Nearly 20 months after a 1-year-old girl was fatally shot while she lay in her crib in Compton, four people face various charges related to her murder, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday in a news release.

Davion Douglas, 27; Denzell Hull, 25; and Ronzay Richards, 25, faced murder and attempted murder charges, sheriff’s officials said.

A fourth suspect, 24-year-old Ray Patterson, was charged with accessory after the killing, the release stated. Patterson was initially arrested on suspicion of murder about two weeks after the homicide, but was released after prosecutors declined to file charges against him in the case.

Hull was also charged in a separate attempted homicide that occurred approximately a month after Autumn was killed, according to authorities.

He and Douglas were already incarcerated in state prison in an unrelated burglary case, while Patterson was in the Nevada State Prison on an unrelated weapons charge, the release stated.

On Wednesday, an arrest warrant was issued for Richards, and he was subsequently taken into custody, according to the release.

The four are expected to be arraigned Oct 13, 2017.

Autumn Johnson died after being struck in the head by a bullet in the 300 block of North Holly Avenue on the evening of Feb. 9, 2016, a few days after her first birthday.  Deputies arrived at the scene before paramedics and, in an effort to save the child’s life, rushed the little girl in their own patrol car to a hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

She was pronounced dead a short time after the two deputies got to the hospital.

The shooting appeared to have been gang-related, sheriff’s officials said at the time. The shots were fired into a converted garage apartment, where the family lived.

“It looks like they targeted a person, and they didn’t shoot the house, they shot into the garage. So they were obviously targeting who [was ever] living in the garage,” sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said after the shooting occurred.

“Of course the baby’s not the target,” Corina said. “The baby caught a stray round.”

On Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Department announced they had made four arrests in the case, and that the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office had already filed charges.

The news came as a relief to the Compton community. Mayor Aja Brown applauded the work of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, L.A. District Attorney’s Office … “[and] every person from the Compton community that assisted in apprehending the alleged perpetrators that were involved in killing one-year-old Autumn Johnson.

“Autumn Johnson’s family deserves closure that can only be achieved by obtaining justice — however long it takes. Only by working together for peace can we root out gang violence and keep our families and community safe,” Brown said.

The Compton City Council teamed with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to offer a $75,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the gunman responsible for the death of Autumn Johnson.

Details are unknown about whether the reward helped generate the arrests and charges.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.


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