A court date for a man suspected in the gang-related death of a Lynwood shopkeeper during a robbery was postponed Wednesday until later this month, a clerk told Patch.
Donald Simpson, 36, was being held on no bail at the Men's Central Jail, pending a preliminary hearing date-setting Feb. 21.
The reason for the delay -- he was slated to get a preliminary hearing date Wednesday -- was because the Los Angeles County Public Defender's office stepped down from the case, declaring a conflict.
The clerk could not tell Patch why this was so but did say that another defense attorney -- Halvor Miller from the county's Attorney Bar Panel -- was assigned to the case.
He is accused of murder and robbery, as well as sentence-enhancing allegations of murder during the commission of a robbery, murder with a handgun and murder to further the interests of a gang, all special circumstance allegations.
The crime occurred Nov. 20, according to court papers.
The day of the murder, Simpson also allegedly robbed someone named Jose Garcia, and shot at him as well, according to the complaint filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney's office.
The complaint indicates that if convicted of committing the felonies for the benefit of a street gang, the defendant faces more than 10 years in state prison, over the 25 years to life for the murder charge.
To see the complaint, please click here.
However, the special circumstance allegation of murder during a robbery could net him life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty; the District Attorney's office usually makes the decision whether to seek the death penalty following a preliminary hearing.
Simpson also allegedly committed a lewd and lascivious act upon a 14-year-old girl Nov. 1, according to the complaint; Patch does not name victims of sex crimes, though the child's first name and last name initial were included in the complaint.
His co-defendant, Davion Woodspage, 20, is being held in Sacramento according and an arrest warrant has been issued for his arrest locally.
He is not listed in the Los Angeles County jail as in custody.
A pair of teenage girls were also arrested in the case and they will be housed at Juvenile Hall.
According to Los Angeles County sheriff's jail records, Simpson has been in custody since December. He and Woodspage both were arrested in the past months on other allegations.
Simpson was already in custody when he was charged with the murder and robbery.
Fore more on the murder, please click here.