Mark Ridley-Thomas
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Photo: Photo

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas had little to say Thursday in response to the arrest of a suspect in the 1981 stabbing death of his brother.

“Any questions regarding charges filed against Michael Anthony Locklin should be directed to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, as it is their advice that it would be inappropriate to comment at this time,” Ridley- Thomas said in a statement released by his staff.

Locklin, 61, is scheduled to be arraigned in a downtown courtroom Aug. 21 on a first-degree murder charge stemming from the death of 37-year-old Michael Thomas. He also faces a special circumstance allegation of murder in the commission of a robbery, but prosecutors have yet to decide if they will seek the death penalty.

He is being held without bail.

In the criminal complaint filed July 31, prosecutors allege Locklin killed Thomas, an insurance adjuster, in the victim’s South Los Angeles home sometime between Aug. 13-16, 1981. Thomas’ body was discovered at his residence in the 4600 block of Santa Barbara Boulevard, now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, after he missed church services and failed to show up at work.

Cold case investigators identified Locklin through DNA evidence, according to a District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman who said she couldn’t offer any details about the source of that evidence.

She also said she couldn’t elaborate on the nature of the interactions between Thomas and Locklin before the robbery-killing, but said the men knew each other.

Locklin was convicted of rape and other sexual assault offenses in 1987 and is listed as a high-risk sex offender, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office — as a member of the Los Angeles City Council — 10 years after his brother’s killing. He served the city for nearly a dozen years before being elected to the state Assembly, where he served two terms. He has been a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors since 2008.

— City News Service

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