2 More Held in Drug-Related Killing of 4

Times Staff Writers

Two more suspects have been arrested and five others are still being sought by police, bringing to 11 the number of people involved in the Aug. 28 quadruple slaying at a Lake View Terrace house where a drug ring operated, authorities said Wednesday.

Authorities said Tannis Bryant Curry, 26, and James Franklin Williams, 19, both of Pacoima, were the latest to be arrested in the killing of Andre Louis Armstrong, 31, and James Brown, 43, both of the Pacoima area; Lorretha Anderson English, 24, of Seaside and her 28-month-old daughter, Chemise.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Myron Jenkins said that Williams was arrested Oct. 6 in Pennsylvania and that Curry was arrested a day later in Lousiana. Both were charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, he said.

Authorities declined to identify the five other suspects being sought.


4 Charged

Earlier this month, four men were charged in the killings. Stanley Bryant, 30, and Levie Slack, 24, both of Pacoima, and Le Roy Wheeler, 19, of Sylmar have pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Antonio Johnson, 29, of Lake View Terrace has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory to murder. They are being held without bail at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foothill Division jail.

Tannis Bryant Curry is Stanley Bryant’s former wife and is now married to Keith A. Curry, who has survived two shootings and a car bombing in the last two years, police said. One of the shootings evolved from a drug dispute and left him a paraplegic, police said. Authorities declined to comment on whether the incidents involving Keith A. Curry were connected to the Aug. 28 killings.

Authorities said the suspects in the slayings are members of a drug ring that controls the distribution of “rock” cocaine in the northeast San Fernando Valley. The ring is thought by police to be directed by Stanley Bryant along with his older brother, Jeffrey Bryant, 37. The elder Bryant is in state prison on a 1986 conviction for operating a drug house, the same house in the 11400 block of Wheeler Avenue where the quadruple slaying took place.


The Aug. 28 killings occurred when Armstrong attempted to extort money from Stanley Bryant by threatening to give police information about a 1982 drug-related killing in Pacoima, police said. Armstrong was convicted of that killing. The Bryant brothers were arrested in the case but charges were later dropped.

Jenkins said Armstrong had enlisted Brown’s help in the extortion scheme, but that English and her child, who accompanied them to the house on Wheeler Avenue, were not involved.

‘Wrong Place’

“They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Jenkins said.

Authorities have declined to elaborate on what role each suspect had in the murders.

In a San Fernando Municipal Court hearing on the case Wednesday, Judge Michael S. Luros ruled that prosecutors had to turn the names of witnesses in the case over to the defendants’ attorneys. Jenkins opposed the ruling, saying family members of some witnesses were being threatened.

Luros ordered that the witnesses’ addresses and phone numbers be withheld from the defendants. He also ordered that the defendants be denied telephone calls and visits from people other than their attorneys and law enforcement officials.