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Arrest: Authorities capture person suspected of killing man at a burger stand

Readers contacting the Homicide Report have asked for an update on a killing that occurred in Historic South-Central eight months ago.

On May 6, Demetrius Merriwether, a 20-year-old black man, was shot and killed about 1:30 p.m. at Jim's Burgers in the 200 block of West Adams Boulevard.

Video surveillance from the restaurant showed an unknown assailant walking up behind Merriwether and shooting him at point-blank range.

Merriwether was pronounced dead at the scene, LAPD spokeswoman April Harding said.

The shooter was described as a black male, 20 to 30 years old and about 6 feet tall. He was last seen leaving the scene in a silver or gray Dodge Charger with chrome rims.

Nearly two months after the shooting, Hilton Howard Jr., a 31-year-old black man, was arrested and later charged with Merriweather's death. His case is pending trial, according to an official from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 19 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. If convicted, Hilton could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

LAPD Newton Det. Tommy Thompson, who is handling the investigation, declined to provide the motive for the shooting. However, he disclosed that Hilton was the only person involved in the killing, and the incident was not gang-related.

In addition to the pending murder trial, Hilton is also  charged with second-degree robbery in another case. According to the felony complaint, the incident occurred July 6, 2010, a day before he was arrested.

Hilton was previously found guilty of robbery in 1997, according to court records.

-- Sarah Ardalani

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