A Los Angeles man pleaded not guilty Thursday to fatally stabbing a 68-year-old taxi driver near a fast-food restaurant in downtown Los Angeles nearly three months ago.
Victor Daniel Torres, 32, is charged with murder for the Nov. 15, 2019, killing of Burbank resident Oganes Papazyan, who died in a parking lot near a Burger King at Grand and Cesar E. Chavez avenues.
The murder charge includes the special-circumstance allegations of murder during the commission of a carjacking and murder of a taxicab driver, along with an allegation that he used a box cutter in the commission of the crime, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Torres, who is also charged with one count each of attempted first-degree robbery of a transit operator and carjacking.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Torres was convicted last year of three felony vandalism counts.
The coroner’s office determined that the victim died from sharp force trauma to the neck.
Patrol officers saw Torres — who fit the suspect description — in the 500 block of North Main Street on Sunday and stopped him for questioning. He was subsequently booked for murder and has been behind bars since then.
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