Two adult gang members and a teen-age girl charged in beating death of 17-year-old girl
Two 20-year-old men and a 16-year-old girl have been charged with murder in connection with the fatal beating of 17-year-old Johanna Lissette Majia Gayton on a remote mountain road.
People looking for recyclables found Johanna’s body lying face down in a culvert off East Fork Road outside Azusa, about 1.25 miles east of San Gabriel Canyon Road in the Angeles Crest area of the Angeles National Forest, authorities said. She had been beaten around the head, and a bloody rock was found near her body, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Fredis Antonio Lopez, a 20-year-old Latino gang member from Compton, is accused of doing the actual beating, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred.
Investigators believe Johanna was killed because she hung out with members of Lopez’s gang but was then was seen with members of a rival gang, Alfred said.
“She made some poor choices in friends,” Alfred said. “It’s all fun and games until you get beaten to death with a rock because you were seen talking to another boy.”
Christian Granados, also known as Christopher Valle, 20, a Latino from Compton, is accused of driving the car that took the four to the murder site, Alfred said.
The 16-year-old girl and Johanna became friends when the two lived together in foster care, Alfred said. Investigators believe she lured Johanna into the car for what turned out to be her final drive, he said.
“We believe the suspect intended to kill her when they went on the drive,” Alfred said, “but we don’t know if the [16-year-old] accomplice knew.”
Lopez, Granados and the girl are scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 14 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pomona Courthouse. The men are being held without bail.
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.