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Pasadena's City Manager Announces Rewards in Cold Case Murders

City offers $5,000 rewards for each of seven unsolved Pasadena homicides

Published on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 | 5:37 am
Monte Russell, 38, was killed Friday, August 21, 2015 in the parking lot behind a barber shop in the 1700 block of East Washington Boulevard. His case remains unsolved.

City Manager Steve Mermell announced at the Pasadena City Council Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday a series of rewards will be offered for information which yields arrests and convictions in seven unsolved Pasadena murders, going back as far as 2008.

The rewards — $5,000 for each of the cases — were inspired by the efforts of Pomona resident Yvonne Trice, whose son, Monte Russell, 38, was killed Friday, August 21, 2015. The shooting occurred in a parking lot in the 1700 block of East Washington Boulevard, according to Pasadena Police Lieutenant Jesse Carrillo.

This is a developing story which will be updated as Pasadena releases further information on the rewards and cases

Trice,  who had been troubled by what she felt was the Police Department’s tepid response to the shooting, pestered the detectives for information in the case constantly, but consistently came away frustrated.

Trice claimed that Pasadena police were giving the case less attention because of Russell’s history.

Russell had been formerly involved with gangs, said Trice, but had turned his life around and had become a working father to three daughters.

Since that Friday afternoon in 2015, no suspect had been named, nor had any reward been issued, until Monday.

Following Mermell’s announcement Monday, Trice insisted that Pasadena Now include the following Bible verse as thanks before she would comment further, as thanks to all mothers of murder victims:

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

“This is for all the mothers of murder victims,” said Trice. “It’s a prayer of thanks.”

Trice continued, “I had been asking for more information, for crime victim rights information, for leads, and there was nothing.”

Frustrated what she said was a lack of responsiveness by Pasadena police, Trice eventually joined forces with Mothers Of Murder Victims, who helped put pressure on Pasadena leaders as they had done previously in Los Angeles’ 77th Street Division, where they had prompted numerous rewards in murder cases.

“(Russell) wasn’t a gang banger,” Trice has said consistently. “He worked every day.”

Russell worked for a tile company in Altadena, family members said.

Following the 2015 shooting, nearly a hundred Pasadena friends and residents marched in a vigil to the shooting scene, where Trice and local community leaders pleaded for justice.

Anyone with information about any unsolved homicide in Pasadena, said Mermell, may call Pasadena Police at (626)- 744-4517 or may report information anonymously by calling “Crime Stoppers” at  (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play, or the Apple App Store at

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