Friday, April 12, 2013

Murder LA 000021

by James Cohen

On a Wednesday afternoon in late January 2009, Gerardo Ramos went to a Hollywood apartment to fix a sink. He did not survive.

Mr. Ramos was a handyman, and had been to this complex before. He was familiar with the then 82-year-old tenant, Nattie Kennebrew. Kennebrew, a retired locksmith, believed Ramos and the apartment's manager, Vyktor Arce, were trying to steal his veterans benefits.

And so, as Ramos worked on his sink, Kennebrew allegedly shot the man several times in the head and back, killing him. Police said he also attempted to assualt others in the building who showed up to investigate the noise. The manager, Mr. Arce, later testified that Kennebrew also tried to shoot him twice -- presumably shortly after, since police were surely involved quickly -- but the gun failed somehow.

Kennebrew, now 86, has yet to stand trial, having been deemed unfit to stand trial. He is reportedly wheelchair-bound, legally blind and suffering from dementia. I couldn't find any reports from 2009 mentioning any of those maladies.

The elderly man has been in a state hospital since then, where he is said to have attacked someone else. By state law, though, he can't be held more than three years and so in a hearing this past Wednesday, April 10th, a judge denied both prosecutors' request to make him a ward of the Department of Mental Health and his defense attorney's request to dismiss the case against him. The county has been given 30 days to come up with something to do with him or else he'll likely be released into the custody of his son, who currently resides out of state.

The apartment complex via Google Street View