SANTA MONICA —Four suspected gang members, who allegedly murdered a respected man in Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood, are scheduled to appear at a murder trial on January 22.
The court date was set after a judge decided that there was sufficient evidence against the accused men, who are suspected of murdering 49-year-old Preston Brumfield after an alleged dispute.
Brumfield’s body was found in the area on May 11, 2008, after the Santa Monica Police Department cracked down on locating the suspects, who were believed to be members of the “Graveyard Crips,” so named because the gang’s territory is located close to the Woodlawn Cemetery.
The case stems from a year-long investigation dubbed “Operation Tombstone,” which was in incorporation of an undercover drug sting and a court-authorized wiretap of suspected gang members’ telephones, which led to the arrests of the four men.
Brumfield had been known as a prominent street entity in the Pico Neighborhood. Residents in the area were upset over his murder.
The suspects, 65-year-old Gwindon Love Murphy, 27-year-old Jason Eddie Coleman, 50-year-old Sammy Murphy and 26-year-old Jason Anthony Hurtado, are accused of murder along with being suspected gang members, which may serve as a special enhancement that could increase their time if they are convicted.