A Lakewood man was charged Friday with capital murder in the beating death of a taxi driver and recording artist who was attacked at a Hollywood gas station.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sergio C. Tapia II ordered Najib Halibi held without bail while awaiting arraignment Monday in connection with the attack early Sunday on Asfawosen Alemseged, who had worked for Yellow Cab for 24 years.
Alemseged was an Ethiopian actor, singer and poet, according to his website and employer, well-known in his native country.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against the defendant.
Halibi allegedly got out of the taxi, reached back inside the vehicle, grabbed Alemseged, went through his pockets and beat the cabbie after the driver got out of the vehicle shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday.
Police were dispatched to the gas station in the area of Franklin Avenue and North Beachwood Drive in response to an assault with a deadly weapon call, said Officer Scott Danielson of the LAPD’s Hollywood Station.
Alemseged was rushed to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Halibi was arrested about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Avalon Boulevard and the San Diego (405) Freeway, according to Los Angeles police.
— Staff and wire reports