The owner of a Venice Beach hotel was charged today with murder for his alleged role in a transient’s shooting death during a disturbance.
Sris Sinnathamby, 54, pleaded not guilty this afternoon in the death of 26-year-old Jascent Warren, who was shot shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday near Rose Avenue and Ocean Front Walk.
A judge set bail at $1 million for Sinnathamby, who owns the Cadillac Hotel on Dudley Avenue. He has been jailed since his arrest shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday.
Police were tight-lipped about the investigation into Warren’s shooting death, initially even refusing to disclose Sinnathamby’s name out of fear that it “could taint the investigation.”
Witnesses told CBS2 that the hotel owner was with the unidentified gunman — who remains at large — at the time of the shooting. Witnesses also alleged that the shooter was operating under orders from the hotel owner.
Warren was among a large crowd of people in front of the Cadillac Hotel when a fight broke out over who was camping where, witnesses told reporters.
Just after sunrise Sunday, Los Angeles police Sgt. Barry Montgomery said it appeared that “some sort of dispute among locals … triggered this deadly attack.”
Police radio broadcasts said the shooter left the scene in a black SUV, heading south on Speedway, the alley just inland from Ocean Front Walk.
Sinnathamby is due back at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles Oct. 14, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.
If convicted of the murder count, Sinnathamby faces up to life in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.