A Beverly Hills man who was already facing sex-related counts involving seven women over a 13-year period has been charged with murder in the overdose deaths of a model and her friend, who were dumped outside Southland hospitals last November, Los Angeles County District Attorney George GascÃ³n announced Tuesday.
David Brian Pearce, 40, was arrested last December, but was not immediately charged in the deaths of Christy Giles, a 24-year-old model and aspiring actress, and her friend Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola, 26. But he had remained jailed in connection with a series of unrelated alleged sexual assaults.
The charges initially involved alleged crimes against four women, with alleged felony crimes against three other women in 2007, 2019 and 2020 being included later.
Pearce is set to be arraigned next Monday on the two murder charges, along with two new felony counts of sale/transportation/offer to sell a controlled substance — fentanyl.
“I realize that this will not bring any comfort necessarily to the Arzola family or the Giles family, but it will bring accountability,” Gascon said at a news conference announcing the charges.
Pearce’s attorney, Jacob Glucksman, countered, “Similar to the other charges in this case, the evidence on the new counts appears to be extremely weak, and because there’s smoke the D.A. is trying to find some fire.”
The deaths of the model and her friend were classified earlier this year as homicides by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, with toxicology reports finding multiple drugs present in both victims’ systems.
According to the department, Giles died of a mixture of cocaine, fentanyl, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid and ketamine, while Cabrales-Arzola died of multiple organ failure with cocaine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) and other undetermined drugs found in her system.
Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, is also known as the “date rape drug,” according to the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration..
The two women were last seen at an apartment in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood before their bodies were dumped, Giles outside Southern California Hospital in Culver City and Cabrales-Arzola outside Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Hospital.
Giles was already dead when she was found outside the hospital last Nov. 13. Cabrales-Arzola, an architect, was alive but in critical condition. Her family took her off life support later that month, a day before her 27th birthday.
Giles’ mother, Dusty, wrote on Facebook that she hoped the coroner’s findings would lead to criminal charges being filed over the women’s deaths.
“While we her family all along knew and felt strongly our baby was murdered, it is now officially listed as her cause of death!” Dusty Giles posted earlier. “With this our prayers are the L.A. County D.A.’s Office will move quickly and swiftly on re-arresting ALL parties involved and this time PRESS THE CHARGES! Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.”
Two other men, Brandt Osborn, 42, and Michael Ansbach, 47, were each booked on suspicion of being an accessory to manslaughter in connection with the deaths of Giles and Cabrales-Arzola, but were later released from custody while the investigation continued. Osborn has since been charged with two counts of accessory after the fact with knowledge of the crime, according to the latest criminal complaint.
During the news conference on Tuesday announcing the newest charges against Pearce, the district attorney asked any other potential victims to notify the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Homicide Bureau at 213-382-9740 or the District Attorney’s Office at 877-542-9370.
“We know that often survivors do not report sexual assault for a variety of reasons,” GascÃ³n said. “Sometimes they feel the system is not going to listen to them, sometimes they’re afraid of their assailant, sometimes they feel ashamed, and we recognize that these are all factors that play a role. That is one of the reasons we’re here to say to our community and certainly survivors out there that if you feel comfortable coming forward … We’re here for you.”