San Francsico police say that they've arrested two suspects in the July slaying of a well-known film location scout, one of whom had recently been released on gun charges by a San Francisco judge.
As previously reported, 72-year-old Edward French was fatally shot at around 7:56 a.m. on July 17 at the top of Twin Peaks. Well known in the Bay Area film community as a location scout and manager, French's death was shocking even for that crime-plagued area.
A subsequent SFPD investigation revealed that he "had been shot during a robbery in
which the suspects stole a camera," police say, with the suspects fleeing in a grey Honda.
According to ABC 7, surveillance from the homicide scene and a subsequent armed robbery were key in nabbing the suspects, as police say that "On July 28, 2017 at approximately 10:19 a.m., an armed robbery took place at St. Mary's Cathedral Square at Geary Boulevard and Gough Street" by suspects similar to those in the Twin Peaks case
"In this case, a 53 year-old male and a 33 year-old female victim were robbed of their camera and wallet at gunpoint," police say. "In both these cases there was surveillance video that was obtained," SFPD spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan says. "I can't exactly disclose how they were connected."
Video in hand, police say that investigators "developed information that led to the identity of the suspects in the St. Mary's robbery, " and "developed additional information" identified those suspects as those sought in French's death.
According to the SFPD, the suspects are 20-year-old SF resident Fantasy Decuir (whose booking photo has yet to be released by police) and 19-year-old Patterson resident Lamonte Mims (seen above). Decuir was charged with robbery and conspiracy on August 3, and was hit with homicide, robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a crime charges on Monday.
On Monday, Mims was booked for homicide, robbery and being a principal of a crime and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. This follows the charges he was slapped with on August 3: robbery, conspiracy, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, and committing an offense while out on bail or while released on his own recognizance from a prior offense.
That last line might have caught your attention, as it did mine. Does that mean the suspect had been in custody and freed at some point near that of the crime?
Yes, Gatpandan tells ABC 7. Mims "was arrested for a firearms possession charge and he was convicted of that charge and he was released on his own recognizance," she says. According to ABC 7, Mims "was released by the judge based on the recommendation of a pretrial diversion risk assessment." If Mims is indeed guilty, we can likely agree that the assessment was way off this time around.