A story for every victim

Girlfriend's son charged in stabbing that killed Willowbrook man

A 19-year-old Vermont Knolls man has been charged with murder in the Oct. 18 stabbing that killed his mother’s boyfriend in the South Los Angeles community of Willowbrook, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators.

Maurice Jones, 19, was arrested on suspicion of murder on Nov. 2 after he turned himself in to his probation officer. Jones, who is black, was charged with murder and has pleaded not guilty, according to court records.

Authorities say Jones stabbed James Edwards Bills Jr., a 57-year-old black man, in the chest around 8:10 a.m. on Oct. 18 in the 100 block of West 132nd Street. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:01 a.m. 

Bills was one of many transient people who live in cars and trailers parked on the Willowbrook street where he was stabbed, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred said.

The fatal assault appears to have started as an argument between Jones, the son of Bills’ girlfriend, and the older man, Alfred said. 

“We believe it started with somebody spilling something on somebody’s shoe, which escalated to ‘I hate you’ and then a stabbing,” he said. 

Jones is due back in court Nov. 29. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

Post a comment

Before you post, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Remember, all posts are approved by a Times staffer. Profanity and personal attacks will not be approved.