Man who set off Hollywood Hills manhunt is charged with murder

A 54-year-old man who was arrested in San Francisco after eluding a manhunt in the Hollywood Hills was charged with murder this week in connection with a fatal motel room stabbing in the Westmont neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Oscar Richmond Bridges was charged Tuesday with one count of murder carrying a special allegation that he used a knife, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Bridges, authorities said, has at least one previous conviction for a lewd act on a child. Authorities earlier said he had an extensive criminal history that includes assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest.

HOMICIDE REPORT: A story for every victim

Authorities believe Bridges fatally stabbed 21-year-old Robert Brewer of Texas about 10:40 a.m. on Jan. 23 in a motel room on South Vermont Avenue.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Bridges had checked into the motel two days earlier and, though he planned to stay a couple of weeks, was gone the morning Brewer was discovered dead.

Suspicion grew after surveillance video showed the two together before Brewer's death.

Authorities had a hard time tracking Bridges down. About a week after the stabbing, a news conference was held asking for the public's help in locating him.

in early February the hunt for Bridges extended into the Hollywood Hills area as detectives, along with a few dozen others, conducted a large-scale search above the Greek Theatre and Runyon Canyon.

Days later, acting on a tip that Bridges had ties to the San Francisco area, Los Angeles authorities worked with their counterparts in Northern California, which led to the suspect's arrest on Feb. 8.

Bridges was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, but a spokesman for the L.A. County district attorney's office said the hearing had been postponed until at least early March.

If convicted, authorities say Bridges could face 56 years to life in state prison.

Westmont, the neighborhood where Brewer was killed, has been the site of more than 100 other homicides in the last seven years, making it one of the deadliest neighborhoods in L.A. County, according to a Times analysis of homicide data since 2007.

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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