Shop Owner Faces Murder Charges

The owner of a Van Nuys upholstery shop was charged with murder Friday for allegedly shooting an employee to death last fall over a "personal dispute," police said.

Donald Porfilio, 45, of North Hollywood, is accused of killing Thomas Lamb, 33, whose body was discovered Oct. 16 at the Upholstery Room in the 16400 block of Vanowen Street, LAPD Detective Stephen Fisk said.

At the time of the discovery, Porfilio, the owner of the business, told police that he had found Lamb's body after returning from a trip.

But police focused their investigation on Porfilio, who was arrested Thursday evening at the Los Angeles Police Department's Van Nuys Division station, where he had gone to meet with detectives, Fisk said.

Fisk declined to say whether Porfilio has confessed to the shooting and also declined to elaborate on the nature of the dispute between the two men. Lamb, who lived in the area and sometimes spent the night at the shop, died of a wound to the upper chest.

News of the killing shocked neighbors of the small business who described Lamb as a quiet man. Lamb's slaying also marked the third homicide in the community in less than three weeks.

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