A photo of a transient accused of killing a wealthy couple in a violent attack at their La Verne-area home was released for the first time Thursday, a day after he was charged with two counts of capital murder.
Luke Fabela, 23, is shown in an October photo released by the state prison where he is being housed on an unrelated conviction.
Fabela was charged Wednesday in the Dec. 26, 2014, killings of Shirley Isom, 74, and Armie “Troy” Isom, 89.
In addition to capital murder, he was charged with one count of second-degree robbery and one count of first-degree residential burglary.
The only thing taken in the robbery was Shirley Isom’s cellphone, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Sheriff’s Department investigators said in May, when Fabela was identified as their suspect, that the motive for the killings was a mystery. On Wednesday, a DA’s office statement said the couple was killed for the cellphone.
The couple was found bludgeoned near the front door of their home, an estate on the 300 block of Roughrider Drive in an unincorporated area between Claremont and La Verne.
Fabela used a knife and a “hard object,” according to the criminal complaint against him.
He was convicted in 2011 of felony criminal threats in L.A. County, and in April 2015 of two counts of joyriding in San Bernardino County, the complaint states.
Fabela was already in state prison in Delano, in Kern County, when he was named as a suspect. He was serving a 32-month sentence related to a vehicle theft conviction, authorities said.
Witnesses were taken to the prison and identified him in a lineup, investigators said in May. DNA helped lead investigators to him.
Fabela is currently being held in Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, in Fresno County.
He has not yet been arraigned in the Isoms’ killing.