Ex-con charged in North Hollywood strangulation


first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.La Brunda confessed to strangling Johnson in his car after she disrespected him, police said. He then placed her body on a row of abandoned tires in an alley less than four blocks from his home, officers said. A neighbor discovered the body around 11 a.m. Wednesday. La Brunda was charged Thursday with two counts of capital murder for the deaths of Johnson and her unborn child. It was unclear if he was the child’s father. He is being held without bail in Los Angeles County Jail. “It’s tragic,” Los Angeles police Detective Rich Wheeler said. “She didn’t deserve this. She’s 21.” In March, Johnson and La Brunda reconnected at a junior college, where her father said she was studying to become a social worker. La Brunda had just gotten out of jail after being convicted in January of battering another woman he was dating, according to court records. NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Soft-hearted and the apple of her father’s eye, Alisha Johnson’s family nicknamed her “big” because, as he said, “She was bigger than life.” On Thursday, police said the 21-year-old woman who was four months pregnant was dumped shoeless next to a pile of tires in a North Hollywood alley by a man convicted four times of beating up women. “She was just full of life, love and understanding,” her father, Clay, said as mourners poured into his Orange County home Thursday. Friends told police Johnson had known Michael La Brunda, a 33-year-old father with a criminal record dating back seven years, for more than two years. He was sentenced to nine months in jail, but because of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s early release program, was set free before he completed the time. He had previously been convicted three times on spousal battery and been ordered to take a one-year domestic violence program. None of the charges ever carried more than a one-year conviction. “When you are sentenced to 270 days, you are out in two or three months,” said Richard A. Schmidt, supervising city attorney for the Van Nuys criminal branch. “This illustrates a very grave and long-standing concern that our offices and I know the judges have have had with the early release from the county jail system.” As recently as last year, another woman filed a restraining order against La Brunda. And a neighbor filed one back in 2003. Earlier [email protected] (818) 713-3741 For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more