News Releases

November 9, 2018: Transient Convicted of Murder for 2016 Fire that Killed Five

Greg Risling, Assistant Chief
(213) 257-2000

A 24-year-old transient was found guilty yesterday of killing five people after he set fire to a vacant building in the Westlake District, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Jurors deliberated for less than a day before finding Johnny Josue Sanchez (dob 7/14/94) guilty of five counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. The special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and arson murder were found to be true.

Deputy District Attorneys Joy Roberts and Holly Harpham of the Arson and Explosives Section prosecuted the case.

Sanchez is expected to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2019, in Department 134 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. He faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

On June 13, 2016, a blaze erupted in a large vacant commercial building inhabited by transients at 2411 W. Eighth St. near MacArthur Park. Sanchez set two fires inside the building after getting into a dispute with another transient at the site, killing Jerry Dean Clemons, 59; Mary Ann Davis, 44; DeAndre Mitchell, 34; Joseph Proenneke, 25; and Tierra Stansberry, 18.

Case BA447545 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.