A man has been formally charged in a decades-old cold case murder of a man and his daughter who were killed in a drive-by shooting in Compton.
Jahon Terez Smith, 47, was charged with the deaths of Stephen Murphy and his 3-year-old daughter Kali Murphy, who were gunned down outside of a home on the 13100 block of Willowbrook Avenue on Aug. 8, 2001.
Smith was arrested on Oct. 30, and remains in police custody without bail.
His arrest came following months of renewed public interest in the investigation, spurred by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopening the 22-year-old cold case and asking the public for any new leads that might lead to an arrest.
Last week, Smith, aka “Quant,” was finally identified as a suspect and taken into custody.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said Smith conspired with a group of people to commit a series of drive-by shootings in Compton, one of which resulted in the father and daughter being killed, as well as two others being seriously injured.
“I express my deepest sympathies to the Murphy family for the immeasurable pain they have endured through these long years,” Gascón said in a news release. “The resolution of this 22-year-old cold case underscores the significance of solving crimes that have remained unsolved for far too long.”
Smith now faces two felony charges for murder and four charges for attempted murder.
Gascón accused Smith of “willfully” and “deliberately” participating in the crimes and promised crimes like these will continue to be investigated and pursued until a culprit has been apprehended.
“Let this also be a reminder to all who believe they can evade the long arm of the law: no matter how much time passes, we will never stop pursuing justice on behalf of the victims and their families,” Gascón said, adding his immense appreciation for the Sheriff’s Department and DA’s Office investigators who worked the case until an arrest was made.
Smith is due back in court on Nov. 29. If convicted of the charges, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Anyone with information on the case can call LASD at 1-323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted to “L.A. Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-8477 or online at lacrimestoppers.org.