Felon killed in botched jewelry store robbery linked to slaying of elderly couple
A felon gunned down by a Torrance jewelry store owner during a botched robbery this week was identified Thursday as a person of interest in the deaths of an elderly couple killed in their home, authorities said.
Keon Bailey, 20, of Lancaster was shot and killed by the owner of Leilani’s Jewelers, at 18099 Prairie Ave. in Torrance, when he barged in with a gun and tried to rob the store just before noon Tuesday, authorities said.
Bailey was released on parole from Wasco State Prison in Kern County on Feb. 18 after serving less than two years of his four-year sentence for a 2014 conviction for first-degree burglary and receiving stolen property, said Luis Patino, spokesman of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Just days after he was released on parole in the Antelope Valley, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said Thursday, Bailey is believed to have committed other robberies and was possibly responsible for the deaths of Louis Giuntini, 95, and Rose Giuntini, 92, before he was killed this week.
Investigators have collected evidence that they believe ties Bailey to the Apple Valley couple’s death, sheriff’s officials said.
“However, confirmation of that evidence has not yet been scientifically determined,” sheriff’s officials said.
Bailey’s crime streak began on the morning of Feb. 28, when sheriff’s officials said he used a gun to rob Neils Donuts in the 18100 block of Highway 18 in Apple Valley. Bailey appeared in surveillance video recovered from the doughnut shop, the Sheriff’s Department said.
The next day, detectives were called to investigate another crime less than a mile from the doughnut shop.
Authorities said a family friend had gone to the Giuntinis’ home in the 19900 block of State 18 Outer Highway about 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 29 to check on them.
The friend found the couple dead inside their home, sheriff’s officials said. At the time, detectives said their deaths were suspicious.
Then on March 9, authorities received a report of a home invasion robbery in the 15600 block of Myalon Road in Apple Valley. Evidence found at the home was consistent with the doughnut shop robbery and the couple’s death, sheriff’s officials said.
Because the crime of which Bailey was convicted was not violent or serious, he was eligible under Penal Code Section 2933 to receive 50% credit or a day’s credit for each day served, Patino said.
Before Bailey was sent prison, he had earned 140 days’ credit that also applied to his sentence. Had Bailey used a firearm during the original crimes, he would have been given only 15% credit for each day served, Patino said.
For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.