Two men and a woman have been charged in connection with killing three men in a Porter Ranch home earlier this year, and authorities said the victims and suspects were involved in the sale and transportation of cocaine to the East Coast.
Travis Reid, of Randallstown, Maryland and Kenneth Peterson, of Durham, North Carolina, face three counts of murder with a special allegation of multiple murders, while Chaquetta Cook, of Baltimore, Maryland, faces one count of murder, LAPD officials announced at a news conference Thursday. Authorities believe the two men fatally shot the three victims on Feb. 18. and they are eligible for the death penalty.
All suspects are 40 years old and were arrested in their respective homes on Wednesday. They are waiting extradition back to Los Angeles, LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes said.
Gary Davidson, 39, Benny Lopez, 46, of Anaheim, and Jesus Perez, 34, of Perris, were found fatally shot in an upscale Porter Ranch gated community on Feb. 18.
Davidson’s girlfriend was upstairs when she heard a gunshot and alerted police.
Hayes said Davidson knew the suspects and let them into his home that afternoon for a narcotics transaction. The circumstances leading up to the shooting remain under investigation.
“I would suspect it was business dispute related to the illegal drug trade,” Hayes said. It is unclear, he added, whether the suspects went to Davidson’s home that day with the intention of killing the victims.
Authorities believed the victims and the suspects were transporting “significant quantities” of drugs from the West Coast to the East Coast for some time.
All three suspects drove to Los Angeles area the day before the killings occurred, but Reid and Peterson allegedly fatally shot the victims, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office. All three left Los Angeles later that evening, officials said.
Hayes said the suspects are not cooperating with the investigation.
Cook’s bail was set at $2 million, while the two men are being held without bail.
Reid and Peterson face a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole, or death. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty in this case will be made at a later date.
The FBI as well as local law enforcement agencies in the areas were the suspects were arrested assisted in the investigation.