A story for every victim

David Oakleaf, 74

David Oakleaf, a 74-year-old white man, died after suffering blunt-force trauma Tuesday, Nov. 1, in the 2700 block of Carson Street in Lakewood, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

At the time of his death, Oakleaf was at a Wal-Mart store when a transient wandered into the shopping center and entered the sporting goods section.

The transient, later identified as Richard Lawrence Kalfin, a 47-year-old black man, removed a baseball bat from a display rack and began walking the nearby aisles, stopping only when he spotted Oakleaf.

Witnesses told officials that Kalfin began swinging the bat at Oakleaf’s head, striking him several times.

Authorities were called and the victim was pronounced dead. Kalfin was detained at the scene and booked on suspicion of murder.

Sheriff's Lt. Eddie Hernandez said there was no evidence the two men had prior contact.

Two days after the killing, prosecutors charged Kalfin with murder. In charging him, attorneys also noted he had a 2005 conviction for arson.

Kalfin is being held in lieu of $1.08-million bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown L.A. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 22 at the Bellflower Courthouse.

In a statement, Wal-Mart officials expressed its "deepest condolences" to Oakleaf’s family.

"We are working closely with law enforcement to offer what information we have, such as surveillance video that might help with the investigation," the company said.

Anyone with additional information about the beating is asked to contact the sheriff's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800) 222-8477.

--Andrew Blankstein

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