Two men arrested last year in the deaths of model Christy Giles and her architect friend Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola have been charged with murder, rape and accessory after the fact by the Los Angeles County District Attorney.
“I recognize that these charges are a small consolation to the friends and family members of Ms. Arzola and Ms. Giles,” D.A. George Gascón said Tuesday in a downtown press conference officially announcing the new charges against David Pearce and Brandt Osborn. “And although we know nothing can bring these daughters and friends back to us, I promise that my office will do everything in its power to hold those that harmed them accountable.”
The complaint (read it here) was filed June 24 by Deputy D.A. Catherine Mariano.
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Looking at multiple rape and drug charges as well as two counts of murder, the incarcerated Pearce could face life in prison if found guilty. Osborn, who remains free, is facing up to three years behind bars if found guilty on the two felony charges of seeking to “harbor, conceal, and aid” Pearce. Both men are set to be in Los Angeles Superior Court downtown on July 11 for arraignment. Pearce is expected to plead not guilty.
Left outside West L.A. hospitals by masked men in mid-November 2021, Giles was pronounced dead at the scene, while Cabrales-Arzola was taken off life support on November 27 at the request of her family. The duo had last been seen alive in an apartment in the Pico- Robertson neighborhood earlier on November 13, 2021.
Facing outrage and demands for action from the grieving families of Giles and Cabrales-Arzola, the somewhat newly minted D.A. and the LAPD picked up Pearce, Osborn and Michael Ansbach in mid-December last year. Aspiring actor Osborn, who was arrested on the Hollywood set of CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles, and Ansbach were charged with accessory to manslaughter at the time. Bail was set at $100,000 each for both men. Pearce was booked on suspicion of manslaughter, with bail set at $1 million.
Soon afterwards, Osborn walked out of jail. The anticipation is he will be brought in by the police before next week’s hearing. There was no mention of Ansbach in today’s unsealed second amended complaint. “The matter is under review,” said a DA spokesperson about Ansbach’s status in the matter.
Pearce has remained behind bars since December.
Today, Gascón sought to widen the potential charges with a plea for others who may have been assaulted by Pearce and the others to speak to law enforcement. “I also ask that any other potential survivors listening today join us in stepping forward to report any information they may have related to these two defendants,” he said. “My office and our Bureau of Victims Services stand ready to listen, assist and support you. You are not alone.”
The case still is under investigation by the LAPD, the D.A.’s office says.
Tuesday’s unveiling of the new charges against Pearce and Osborn comes the same day as the deadline for a recall petition against Gascón. Having failed to successful instigated a recall against the former San Francisco D.A. and LAPD officer last year, the latest recall effort requires signatures of at least 10% of registered voters in the county – or 569,000. Facing a 6 PM PT deadline tonight, recall organizers say they have reached that number.
Gascón and his team say the recall is a GOP- and police-union fueled attempt to undermine his moves to not seek cash bail for a number of offenses along with other self-described progressive initiatives since taking office in December 2020. In a recent fundraising email sent out by the D.A.’s side, Gascón warned that a successful recall “will reverse all our progress.”
Reading the room so to speak, Gascón may be worried of a Southland repeat of what happened in his old stomping ground last month. Fellow progressive and San Francisco D.A. Chesa Boudin was soundly tossed from office June 7 by the 55.05% of Bay Area citizen who showed up to vote. Boudin has implied he may run in November’s special election, but polls don’t look encouraging.
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