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Gardena security guard charged with murder after fight with customer over mask

Umeir Hawkins and Sabrina Carter
Umeir Corniche Hawkins, 38, and Sabrina Carter, 50, were charged with murder after a fight with a man who was not wearing a mask inside Green Farm Market grocery store in Gardena.
(Gardena Police Department)

A South Bay grocery store security guard and his wife were charged with murder this week after fighting with a 50-year-old man who entered the store without wearing a mask, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Umeir Corniche Hawkins, 38, faces one count each of murder and possession of a handgun by a felon. His wife, Sabrina Carter, 50, who police said was also involved in the altercation, is charged with one count of possession of a handgun by a felon, according to the D.A.'s office.

The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday and are scheduled to return to court Friday.

Hawkins and Carter are being held, with bail set at $1 million and $35,000, respectively, according to court records. If convicted, Hawkins faces a possible maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison, and Carter faces three years in prison.

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According to the Gardena Police Department’s Facebook page, officers arrived at Green Farm Market grocery store in Gardena on Sunday night and found Jerry Lewis, 50, who was shot in the lower body and died at the scene.

Lewis was a popular 1990s rapper known by the moniker Madd Head. His music is featured in the “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America” movie soundtrack.

Police said Lewis was in the parking lot of the store waiting for a tow truck to repair a pair of flat tires on his vehicle. At some point, authorities said, he entered the store without a mask and got into a verbal altercation that turned physical with Hawkins, a security guard at the market.

Prosecutors said Lewis left the store, returned and fought again with Hawkins.

During the second fight, police said Carter was in the parking lot, waiting for Hawkins to get off work. She intervened by pointing a handgun at Lewis and other customers.

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Lewis began walking away, toward his vehicle, and Hawkins pulled out another gun and fatally shot Lewis, prosecutors said. The couple — who the district attorney’s office say were convicted in 2013 for assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury — were arrested a day later.

The case remains under investigation by police. Anyone with information can contact Det. Ryan Sproles at (310) 217-9618 or Det. Dolores Searle at (310) 217-9654.


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