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Accused Killer Arraigned In Crosby Murder

Suspect Dwayne Rice has long criminal history, and has been acquitted of attempted murder in the past, according to court records.

Published on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | 2:14 am
 

The man accused of murder in the May shooting death of David Crosby Jr. has been arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court and now awaits a June 25 preliminary hearing, court records show.

Dwayne Rice, 29, is being held in Los Angeles County Jail on no bond for allegedly murdering Crosby, 32, on May 29. Crosby attended a party at Atlantis Restaurant on Sierra Madre Boulevard in Pasadena following a funeral. He was fatally shot inside the restaurant.

Rice was arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pasadena courthouse late Monday.

Members of the Pasadena Police Department have declined to comment on a possible motive for Crosby’s murder or whether the victim had gang affiliations.

However, PPD spokeswoman Janet Pope-Givens said in an interview Monday that Rice does have gang ties. In addition, PPD Lt. Tom Pederson noted in a telephone interview Tuesday that Rice was a “parolee at large” but did not know the exact nature of his parole.

A search in Los Angeles Superior Court electronic records shows that Rice has a long history of criminal charges, some leading to convictions, dating back to 1986. Rice has a 2005 conviction for carrying a concealed weapon within a vehicle. He was also convicted for eluding a police officer in 2005. He has also been convicted multiple times of driving with a suspended license.

In addition, Rice has a pending attempted murder case at the Pasadena courthouse, of which full details were not available online.

He has also been acquitted of multiple attempted murder charges in the past, court records show.

PPD Chief Bernard Melekian briefly discussed Crosby’s murder and Rice’s most recent arrest in an informal meeting with members of the press Monday.

“This case, the detectives worked around the clock for a number of days,” Melekian said. “They had identified the suspect within 24 hours.”

Melekian said the detectives working the Crosby murder case had to serve numerous search warrants and conduct continuous surveillance. Investigators also spent a good deal of time in the Inland Empire – where Rice was ultimately arrested when officers executed a search warrant at the home of one of the suspect’s acquaintances.

Even with Rice’s arrest, there is still potential for more violence because of his reported gang affiliation, police said.

“We do have concerns about the potential for increased violence this summer. [There is] a lot of street talk about that,” Melekian said. “And we are putting a number of things in place to try to head that off.”

One of the things citizens can do is whenever they see graffiti to immediately call police, Melekian said. Not all graffiti is gang-related, but the distinction can be difficult for average citizens to make. PPD has personnel trained to determine what kind of graffiti is placed.

Gang-related graffiti can be like an “open letter” regarding possible disputes, Melekian said.

Once police officers investigate the graffiti, such markings on public property are immediately painted over whether or not the tagging is gang-related. Graffiti on private property should always be painted over once the police investigation is complete, Melekian said.

Anyone with concerns about graffiti or possible gang activity is asked to call 911 in an emergency. If it is not an emergency, Pasadena Police Department can be reached at 626-744-4501.

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