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California

Man charged in slayings of Long Beach mother and 4-year-old daughter

Luis Anaya, left, Carina Mancera, right, and Jennabel Anaya, 4, center.
Luis Anaya and Carina Mancera attend a celebration with their 4-year-old daughter, Jennabel Anaya. Jennabel and her mother were shot to death in August.
(Family photo)

An Oklahoma man was charged Tuesday in the slayings of a Long Beach mother and her 4-year-old daughter, who were gunned down in August after a trip to a grocery store.

Brandon Ivan Colbert Jr., 22, of Tulsa, Okla., faces two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. The charges carry special circumstances alleging that Colbert was lying in wait and that he committed multiple murders.

If Colbert is convicted, he faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later date.

On Monday, Long Beach police announced they had arrested Colbert in connection with the Aug. 6 killings.

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Brandon Colbert, 22, of Tulsa, Okla.
Brandon Colbert, 22, of Tulsa, Okla.
(Long Beach Police Department )

Carina Mancera, 26, her daughter, Jennabel Anaya, and the girl’s father, Luis Anaya, were returning from grocery shopping around 10:20 p.m. when Colbert emerged at Locust Avenue and 9th Street, police said.

Armed with a shotgun, Colbert hid behind a sign and fired at the family, according to prosecutors.

Mancera was struck and died at the scene. Jennabel died at a hospital a short time later. The gunman fired one shot at Mancera’s boyfriend, Anaya. He was not wounded.

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Police Chief Robert Luna said DNA from the gunman was retrieved at the scene of the killings, but he did not elaborate. Detectives submitted the DNA to an offender database but got no match at first.

Then Colbert was arrested on Aug. 27 by the Los Angeles Police Department on suspicion of driving a stolen car. Police took his DNA , which was added to offender databases.

On Oct. 31, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s crime lab confirmed a match, Luna said. Luna said he is hoping someone who knows Colbert or may have seen him comes forward to assist in the investigation. Police have released no motive for the killings.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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