A third suspected gang member has been arrested and charged with capital murder in the shooting of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Juan Abel Escalante outside his parents' Cypress Park home, authorities said Wednesday.
Investigators said a fourth man wanted in connection with the Aug. 2 slaying remains at large.
Jose Renteria, 18, an alleged Avenues gang member, was arrested April 16 at the East Lake Juvenile Detention Center, where he was being held on an unrelated probation violation charge. He pleaded not guilty Monday to killing Escalante, who was shot in the back of the head.
In December, prosecutors charged two alleged gang members, Javier Velasquez, 24, the suspected gunman, and Guillermo Hernandez, 20. They were charged with one count each of murder with the special circumstance that the killing was carried out to further a criminal street gang, making it a potential death penalty case.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton and City Council members appealed for the public's help in finding the fourth suspect, Armando Albarran, 26, a.k.a. "Chivo," who was charged Tuesday with Escalante's murder. The three men in custody are scheduled to be back in court later this month. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.