Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Killing L.A. Marijuana Dispensary Worker

A man charged in the execution-style killing of a worker at a Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary pleaded not guilty Monday as police continued to search for a second suspect in the case.

Daniel Deshawn Hinton, 31, is being held without bail while awaiting trial in the June 26 shooting death of 27-year-old Matthew Butcher at the Higher Path Holistic Care Collective on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park.

A group of men entered the dispensary, holding Butcher and a security guard face-down at gunpoint while they ransacked the store for cash and marijuana, police said. Although the two did not resist, they were shot, according to an account given to police by the security guard, who survived.

Hinton, who was arrested July 21, also has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of the guard.

The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for Raymond Lemone Easter, 27, who was identified last week as one of the attackers and so far has eluded detectives. He, too, has been charged with murder and attempted murder.

A $50,000 reward for information leading to Easter’s arrest was issued by the Los Angeles City Council last week. As is often the case, police have struggled to persuade people who might have useful information to cooperate because of fears of retaliation.

LAPD Lt. Gregg Strenk, who is overseeing the investigation, said detectives are working to identify at least one more person they believe was with Easter and Hinton at the time of the shooting.

Easter and Hinton are known gang members, but Strenk said there is no evidence to support widespread speculation that the dispensary was cutting into illegal street drug sales controlled by area gangs and that the shooting was meant to send a message or as retaliation.

Hours after Butcher was killed, a worker at a dispensary five miles away in Hollywood was discovered dead. Ila Ali Packman, 39, was found dead from an apparent stabbing inside Hollywood Holistic 2 on North El Centro Avenue.

Police have found no indication that the two killings are linked. They have not made an arrest in the second case and indicated that they do not have any strong leads.

– Article from the Los Angeles Times.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. Dale allo on

    some believe that word really nowadays is meant as a group of people who do such things not being black. really though what a god awful thing to do i hope if he is guilty he gets life in prison. why dont they put bullet proof glass in these places and sell the pot through a small slot like they have in late night gas stations and alot of subway stations? pot is worth its weight in gold obviously there will be those out wanting to steal it even if its from dying patients mouths. i place some blame on the dispensary for their lack in security when dealing with expensive drugs.

  2. Anonymous on

    You are just as bad as him; talking like that.

  3. Anonymous on

    Your toxic attitude isn’t wanted here. Directed hate speech is violent and inappropriate – just like a murder.

  4. Anonymous on

    F**% that dumb nigger, torch his afro and cut his lips off!

  5. Anonymous on

    So much for the security guard. Lot of good he did. Why do they even let people inside? All they need is a vestibule with a slot. The most amazing thing is that there haven’t been more such robberies. They could just watch the place for a while and see how they bring the weed in, then steal it before it even gets inside. That’s their big weakness, they have to bring the weed into the building sometime and the duffle bag is going to be pretty obvious.

  6. Anonymous on

    Only in America…