A parolee who is accused of kidnapping and killing a 17-year-old Los Feliz teen was charged today with two new felony counts at a preliminary hearing in downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County prosecutors charged 50-year-old Charlie Samuel with one felony count each of carjacking and kidnapping for carjacking, as well as a new special circumstance allegation that he killed Lily Belle Burk, the daughter of attorney Deboraz Drooz and former LA Weekly music editor Greg Burk, during the commission of a carjacking.
Samuel, a career criminal with previous petty theft and robbery convictions, had already been charged with murder, kidnapping, robbery, and the special circumstance allegations of murder during a kidnapping and robbery. It is still unclear whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty.
Burk, who was going into her senior year at North Hollywood's Oakwood School, left her home in Los Feliz about 2 p.m. July 24 to run an errand for her mother, who is a law professor at Southwestern University School of Law in the Westlake area. Samuel allegedly abducted Burk as she was about to get into her car near the law school. During the abduction, she called each of her parents a few hours later, asking how she could get cash using a credit card at an ATM.
Samuel was arrested a few hours later when officers spotted him drinking in downtown Los Angeles. He was carrying a cocaine pipe. Burk's body was found in the passenger seat of her black Volvo around 6:30 a.m. the following day near downtown's Skid Row. She had been beaten and her neck was slashed.
Police found Samuel's fingerprints on the Volvo.
A superior court judge is expected to rule on Monday whether there is enough evidence for Samuel to stand trial for the brutal slaying.