A Los Angeles resident accused of intentionally setting a tent ablaze on skid row, killing a homeless man, was charged Wednesday with capital murder.
Jonathan Early, 38, is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 25 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on the murder charge, which includes a special circumstance allegation of murder involving the infliction of torture that could potentially result in the death penalty.
Early allegedly set the tent ablaze near Sixth and San Pedro Streets on Monday night and was taken into custody a short time later. The 62-year-old victim died the following morning as a result of his injuries.
He was identified by the District Attorney’s Office as Dwayne Fields, but the Los Angeles Community Action Network — a group working to combat homelessness and provide services for the poor — said he was Darrell Fields, a long-time skid row resident.
Police have not disclosed a motive for the attack, which remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division and the Los Angeles City Fire Department’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section.
According to LA CAN, at the time of his death, Fields “was working on numerous projects to elevate the healing power of arts and culture in skid row.”
The group plans to hold a vigil at 6 p.m. at 838 E. Sixth St. “to celebrate the life, mastery and artistic vision of Darrell.”
“All are encouraged to attend as we recount his countless contributions, conduct a silent procession to his residence and place of death and call on the community to do more for one another,” according to LA CAN.