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Alleged burglar charged with murder after homeowner shoots accomplice

CrimeHomicide
Alleged burglar charged with murder of accomplice who was shot dead by Long Beach homeowner
Alleged burglar who was shot dead by Long Beach homeowner was not pregnant, coroner's officials say

A 26-year-old man accused of breaking into a Long Beach home was charged with murder Friday in the death of his accomplice, who was shot by the 80-year-old homeowner.

Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Gus Adams, 26, with five felony counts in connection with the Tuesday break-in: murder, grand theft firearm, the possession of a firearm by a felon and first-degree residential robbery and burglary.

He also faces special circumstance allegations that he inflicted great bodily injury and committed elder abuse during a crime, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. 

If convicted of the charges, prosecutors said, Adams faces a maximum of life in state prison.

Prosecutors and police allege Adams and Andrea Miller, 28, broke into a house in the 3900 block of Country Club Drive, part of Long Beach's upscale Bixby Knolls neighborhood. When the 80-year-old homeowner walked in, authorities allege, the pair beat him with their fists and body-slammed him to the ground.

The man then got a gun and fatally shot Miller, prosecutors said. Adams fled the scene, but was later tracked down and arrested by police.

In California a person can be charged with their accomplice’s death if it occurs during the commission of a crime. 

On Friday, Long Beach police announced they had also arrested a third suspect: Adams' mother. Ruby Adams, 49, was arrested and booked Thursday night, police said, and was expected to be charged Monday.

Police did not elaborate on her alleged involvement, but said she was identified "through the course of the investigation."

The case drew significant attention after the homeowner told KNBC-TV that Miller had begged him not to open fire, claiming she was pregnant. The man, who identified himself as Tom Greer in the interview, said he acted in self-defense.

Greer said the woman shouted: "Don't shoot me! I'm pregnant ---I'm going to have a baby."

“I shot her anyway,” Greer told the television station. “The lady didn’t run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice. She’s dead … but he got away.”

Coroner's officials said Friday that Miller was not pregnant, though an official cause of death has not been released.

Long Beach police said they will present their report on the incident to the district attorney’s office, which will decide if the shooting was justified.

Follow @katemather@LATvives and @JosephSerna for more crime news across Southern California.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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