The men charged in string a 7-Eleven robberies that left three dead and several wounded across various SoCal law enforcement jurisdictions last week made their first court appearance Tuesday, where it was revealed that in the midst of their alleged killing and robbery spree they attempted to stop and buy more ammunition.
Malik Patt, 20, of Los Angeles is facing three counts of murder, plus attempted murder and other felonies in connection with the killings that occurred July 11 in 7-Eleven stores and a 7-Eleven parking lot in Santa Ana and Brea, as well with the July 9 killing of a homeless man in North Hills in Los Angeles County, ABC7 reports.
“Patt is a stone-cold serial killer,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said at a news conference Monday. “There’s no other way to describe him.”
In addition to the three murder counts, Patt is also being charged with two counts of attempted murder, three counts of robbery and one count of carjacking while armed, the D.A. said. The charges against Patt include special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder in the commission of a robbery.
Patt will also face various sentencing enhancements for personal use or discharge of a handgun.
Should prosecutors choose to pursue the death penalty, Patt is a prime candidate. At a minimum, according to ABC7, he is looking at life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
Patt’s co-defendant is Jason Payne, 44, described as a neighbor of Patt. Payne was charged with three counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery, stemming from heists in Santa Ana, La Habra and Brea, Spitzer said, but not murder.
Payne is currently not booked in the killings because California state law requires prosecutors to show evidence that a suspect knew killing was part of the plan and acted in a way that showed reckless indifference to the lives of the victims, Spitzer said.
While it’s hard to imagine that the duo’s alleged string of mindless murder could have possibly been worse, in court Tuesday, Senior Deputy District Attorney Seton Hunt revealed that they went to a sporting goods store in an attempt to buy more ammunition in the midst of the robberies and bloodshed.
The only thing that prevented them from stocking up further, prosecutors said, was Patt’s age and Payne’s criminal background.
The connection between the suspects is not entirely understood at this point, according to authorities, but they are neighbors in Los Angeles and Spitzer said they have a “long-standing relationship.”
Payne was allegedly a driver in the stickups, but Patt is also accused of carjacking a victim to secure the getaway car Payne was driving, Spitzer said, adding that Patt’s alleged actions sent chills up his spine.
“To see somebody who could just kill people in cold blood like this,” Spitzer said, “it’s just unfathomable. It’s scary.”
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