News Releases

August 28, 2019: Man Charged With Capital Murder of Homeless Man on Skid Row

Greg Risling, Assistant Chief
(213) 257-2000

A Los Angeles man was charged today with burning to death a homeless man on Skid Row earlier this week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jonathan Early (dob 7/7/81) was charged in case BA480698 with one count of murder with the special circumstance allegation that the crime was intentional and involved the infliction of torture. He is expected to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Deputy District Attorney Joy Roberts of the Arson and Explosives Section is prosecuting the case.

On Aug. 26, Early is accused of setting a tent on fire near 6th and San Pedro streets in downtown Los Angeles. Dwayne Fields, 62, was inside the tent and died as a result from the blaze. The defendant fled but was arrested a short time later.

If convicted as charged, Early faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division and the Los Angeles City Fire Department’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section.