Four men accused of murdering a popular man in Santa Monica's Pico neighborhood are headed to trial later this month after a judge deemed there was enough evidence to try them.
The May 11, 2008 discovery of Preston Brumfield's body in the community set off a major gang crackdown by Santa Monica police that eventually implicated the murder suspects and several others said to be members of the Graveyard Crips, a set named because its turf is near the city-operated Woodlawn Cemetery across from Santa Monica College.
The Santa Monica Daily Press reports that Sammy Murphy, 50, Gwindon Love Murphy, 65, Jason Anthony Hurtado, 26, and Jason Eddie Coleman, 27, are set to appear in Superior Court downtown Jan. 22. Besides murder, the suspects also face a "special enhancement" of being alleged gang members. The enhancement could add time to their sentences if they're convicted.
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Authorities alleged the foursome beat Brumfield to death after he insulted one of them. The subsequent fall crackdown, "Operation Tombstone," led to the arrest of six other alleged gangsters for alleged crack cocaine possession or sales. The foursome was ultimately fingered via a wire tap, police said.