Los Angeles News

Accused teen killer ordered to stand trial

Monday, January 25, 2010

A parolee accused of kidnapping and killing a 17-year-old Los Feliz girl has been ordered to stand trial, and DNA evidence was a key factor in the judge's ruling.

The autopsy on the body of Lily Burk shows evidence of a violent struggle, according to officials from the coroner's office who testified Monday at a preliminary hearing of the teen's accused killer. The judge in the case listened to graphic details of Burk's murder, and he ordered 50-year-old Charles Samuel to stand trial.

Medical experts testified Monday that Burk had injuries all over her body and was repeatedly bitten during a deadly, violent struggle last July.

Bite marks were found on the left side of her face and left ear along with bruising on her back and contusions on her knees and feet.

But it was an incision to the right side of her neck, possibly caused by a broken bottle, that killed Burk according to a medical examiner for L.A. County.

A transient parolee is accused of Burk's murder. Authorities believe Samuel, a career criminal, abducted Burk as she was about to get in her car near Wilshire Boulevard and Wilshire Place after going to the Southwestern Law School campus to run an errand for her mother.

The teen's body was found in her abandoned black Volvo in a downtown parking lot. Prosecutors claim Samuel killed Burk after she failed to withdraw cash from an ATM.

Monday, a judge ordered a trial for Samuel after ruling there is enough evidence to support one count each of murder, kidnapping to commit robbery, carjacking, kidnapping for carjacking, second-degree robbery, attempted first-degree ATM robbery, along with the special circumstance allegations of murder during a kidnapping, robbery and carjacking.

Prosecutors are expected to decide later whether to seek the death penalty for Samuel, who they alleged has previous conviction of robbery and petty theft with a prior. The judge has ordered Samuel to return to court next month for arraignment.

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murder, robbery, los angeles news, leslie miller
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