A 16-year-old boy was charged as an adult in the stabbing death of a 53-year-old West Hills woman who allowed him to stay at her home because he was going through a "tough time."
Steven Paul Main of Bell Canyon pleaded not guilty Thursday to one count of murder with an allegation that he used a knife during the killing, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. If convicted of the charges, Main faces a potential life sentence. His bail has been set at more than $2 million.
Prosecutors said victim Connie Cajulis was stabbed multiple times.
A family member returned home in the 7100 block of Shadow Ridge Court and found Cajulis' body, said Officer Mike Lopez, spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Main stole Cajulis' car and crashed it several blocks away, police said.
Main, who was not a relative, was arrested. He was injured in the crash and taken to a hospital.
KTLA-TV reported she had allowed him to live in her home "because he was going through a tough time."
She was secretary at Calabasas High School and director of the snack bar for the Calabasas Coyote Football Booster Club, KABC-TV reported. Cajulis left behind two sons and her husband. One of her sons attended Calabasas High School.
School district officials offered counseling for students and staff.
"We ask the school community to join us in keeping the Cajulis family in our thoughts as they face this incredibly difficult time," the district said.
Cajulis is the first homicide victim in West Hills in the past 12 months, according to the Los Angeles Times Homicide Report.