Prosecutors Accuse Man of Threatening Witnesses

Times Staff Writer

An attempted murder charge against a Pacoima man was dismissed Wednesday because the victim and other witnesses failed to appear--the fourth case in which charges against him were dismissed because he frightened witnesses into refusing to testify, prosecutors alleged.

The attempted murder charge against Rodney Cullors, 27, will be refiled, and he has also been charged with witness intimidation, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Ed Greene. Witness intimidation charges were not filed in the previous cases.

It is not unusual for criminal defendants to try to dissuade witnesses from testifying, prosecutors said, but their efforts rarely result in dismissal of a case.

Cullors remained in custody on the witness intimidation charge.

San Fernando Municipal Judge Gregg Marcus dismissed an attempted murder and robbery case against Cullors because the two victims did not appear. Greene said he believes that Debra Smith, a girlfriend Cullors was charged with severely beating, balked at testifying because Cullors called her from County Jail and threatened her.

Bench Warrant Issued

Marcus issued a bench warrant for Smith's arrest on the grounds that she is needed as the key witness in the intimidation case.

In the same case, Cullors was charged with stealing $89 from Elizabeth Macon on a Pacoima street two weeks ago. Authorities have been unable to locate Macon, Greene said.

Robbery charges against Cullors were dismissed on two occasions in 1988 after the victims in both cases failed to appear in court because Cullors had frightened them into silence, according to prosecution records. He was accused in those cases of stealing a car and money from women after threatening them.

A third robbery case was dismissed after the victim testified that he could not identify Cullors as the man who had stolen money from him. Earlier, however, he told police that he had been robbed by Cullors, who he said he knew.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World