Man convicted of two murders during a series of robberies in 2011
A 31-year-old man was convicted March 11 in a Mid-City robbery binge in 2011 that left two men dead, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Jabaar Vincent Thomas, a black man, was found guilty of two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Marcelo Aragon, 35, and Gabriel Aron Ben-Meir, 30, during a series of robberies over two weeks.
The jury also convicted Thomas of five counts of second-degree robbery, three counts of attempted robbery, and one count of a felon in possession of a firearm, according to prosecutors.
Jurors will return to court on March 22 to begin the penalty phase.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Thomas committed the murders and robberies around the Mid-City area during the summer of 2011.
Aragon was killed on April 30, 2011, in front of a residence in Pico-Union, prosecutors said. He suffered several gunshot wounds and died at the scene, according to coroner’s records.
About a week later on May 8, Ben-Meir, an MTV music coordinator, was returning home from grocery shopping when he was approached by Thomas. Prosecutors said Ben-Meir was ordered onto his knees and shot in the head.
At the crime scene, detectives found a baseball glove near Ben-Meir’s body from which they obtained DNA that matched Thomas’s. In May 2011, Thomas was arrested and charged along with two accomplices, Destiny Young, 34, and Richard Anderson, 38.
Young, who was Thomas’s girlfriend, pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter, three counts of attempted robbery and three counts of second-degree robbery. Young, who testified at Thomas' trial, faces up to 25 years in prison.
Anderson pleaded guilty to six counts of robbery and attempted robbery and is facing 15 years in prison. Young and Anderson are scheduled to be sentenced March 30.