A Los Angeles County grand jury has charged convicted felon "Bam" Ransom with murder in the deaths of a toddler and two women, plus kidnapping, rape and robbery in a violent crime rampage in March 2014.
The indictment was unsealed Tuesday. Robert Lawrence Ransom Jr., 31, is eligible for the death penalty if convicted, but county prosecutors have yet to decide if they will seek it. He pleaded not guilty.
On March 2, 2014, Margarite Evans, 19, was found shot near the corner of West 93rd Street and South Grand Avenue. She later died.
Three days later, 28-year-old Gisella Yauli and her 1-year-old son, Dillon Reyes, were found dead in their home in the 100 block of East 50th Street after a fire broke out there.
Investigators said it appeared the fire was intentionally set and found evidence that Yauli had been tied up in a bedroom. Yauli and her baby died of smoke inhalation.
About two weeks later, Ransom allegedly kidnapped a 16-year-old girl as she was walking home from high school. Police say Ransom approached her on East Gage Avenue near South San Pedro Street and used a knife to force her into a white van.
Police say Ransom drove her to another location and raped her. The teenager was able to escape near Imperial Highway and New Hampshire Avenue. A witness told investigators the girl had been bound and was drenched in gasoline.
A week after the kidnapping, the LAPD said Ransom -- who has previous felony convictions for robbery, assault and being a felon in possession with a firearm -- was arrested on a parole violation.
The indictment unsealed Tuesday charged Ransom with three counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder, kidnapping, second-degree robbery and rape. The move eliminates the need for a preliminary hearing and allows prosecutors to take the case straight to trial.
Ransom is being held without bail and is due back in court March 3 for a pretrial hearing.
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