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Charges in slaying of actor filed

Two men are accused in the 2006 killing of Armand Jones in O.C.

September 10, 2008|Susannah Rosenblatt | Times Staff Writer

Two Long Beach gang members could face life in prison without parole for allegedly killing a young actor and wounding another man outside an Anaheim Denny's two years ago, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Damon Hill, 24, and Jarrell Kelly, 20, were charged with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder and three counts of second-degree robbery, plus sentencing enhancements for gang activity. They are serving three-year state prison terms for unrelated crimes.

The suspects confronted the victims at the restaurant in the early morning of March 17, 2006, after a night at the nearby Boogie nightclub, according to Orange County prosecutors.

Hill and Kelly, accompanied by several acquaintances, allegedly followed the victims' friends Giovanni Boyd and Dwayne Washington into the Denny's restroom. There Hill and Kelly identified themselves as gang members, robbing Boyd and Washington at gunpoint and stealing their jewelry and shoes, prosecutors said.

Boyd's and Washington's friend Armand D. Jones, 18, of Long Beach eventually followed them to the restroom, said Orange County district attorney's spokeswoman Farrah Emami. There the suspects robbed Jones of a large medallion, said Anaheim Police Sgt. Tim Schmidt.

Hill, Kelly and their group allegedly pushed past Jones, running through the restaurant into the Denny's parking lot as Jones chased after them. Outside, Hill and Kelly shot Jones in the chest, prosecutors said. Jones and the other victim, who survived a gunshot to the head, were not affiliated with gangs, Schmidt said.

Jones staggered back inside the crowded restaurant, where he died "right there in the doorway," Schmidt said.

Jones had recently finished filming a role in "Freedom Writers," starring Hilary Swank, about a teacher working with at-risk students in Long Beach. The film was released in 2007.

Emami said the attack is still under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to call Anaheim Police Det. Kerry Condon at (714) 765-1944.

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susannah.rosenblatt@latimes.com

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