Florida man charged 35 years after man killed, woman raped at gunpoint in front of her child in L.A. motel

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A Florida man was charged Monday with the fatal shooting of a 40-year-old man inside a Los Angeles motel more than 35 years ago, authorities said.

Manuel Fraga-Madan, 66, was charged with one count of murder with the special circumstance allegations of robbery, rape, burglary, lying in wait and torture, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

Manuel Fraga-Madan is seen in a booking photo provided by the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.
Manuel Fraga-Madan is seen in a booking photo provided by the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.

He’s facing the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Fraga-Madan was arrested on May 1 in Florida after DNA evidence tied him to an L.A. crime scene from July 12, 1984.

On that day, two men forced their way into a motel room and raped a 23-year-old woman at gunpoint in front her 1-year-old child. They were waiting for Johnny Williams, their intended target, to return to the room, the DA’s office said.

Williams later walked into the room and the men demanded money and drugs from him, authorities said.

“When Williams said he had neither, he was shot and killed and the two men fled,” the DA’s office said in a news release.

The case remained unsolved for decades until detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s cold case homicide unit took over the investigation and analyzed impounded forensic evidence collected from the motel bedding, using DNA technology that wasn’t available at the time, Sheriff’s Detective Joseph Purcell told the Los Angeles Times.

The DNA from the room matched with Fraga-Madan’s DNA, which was being stored in a database because of his criminal history in California and Florida, the detective told the Times.

Fraga-Madan on Monday was still in custody in Miami and was awaiting extradition to California, according to inmate records from the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.

The second man involved in the brutal crime hasn’t been identified and the Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the case.

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