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Man Gets Life for Woman's Murder

Judge gives an aspiring rapper two consecutive life sentences in his roommate's slaying.

November 08, 2003|Eric Malnic | Times Staff Writer

An aspiring rapper convicted in June of murdering his female roommate and eating part of her lung was sentenced Friday to life in prison without possibility of parole and a second, consecutive life sentence.

Compton Superior Court Judge Jack W. Morgan, who handed down the sentences, previously ruled that Antron Singleton, 27, was sane when he tortured, mutilated and murdered Tynisha Yasis in their South Los Angeles apartment.

His lawyer, Milton Grimes, had argued that Singleton, who performed under the name Big Lurch, had been in a psychotic state caused by the ingestion of PCP before the crime occurred.

Thomas Moore, a friend of the victim, testified that he and Singleton had smoked PCP the night before the killing. A psychiatrist, Dr. Kaushal Sharma, testified that Singleton suffered from mental impairment caused by habitual use of the drug.

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Drew Josfan countered that, under a state law adopted in the 1990s, a defendant cannot plead insanity if the mental illness is caused by drug addiction or drug use.

The judge agreed with Josfan.

Singleton was arrested on April 10, 2002, when police saw him running down a street, naked and covered with blood, in the Watts area. In his apartment on Figueroa Street, officers found the body of Yasis, a 21-year-old mother of two.

Investigators said Singleton had broken her neck and jaw, fractured one of her eye sockets, hacked open her chest and removed her right lung.

A Compton jury deliberated for less than an hour in June before finding Singleton guilty of first-degree murder, torture and aggravated mayhem.

Singleton had moved from Texas before the murder to record a rap album, officials said.

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