Homeless Man Charged with Murder in Fatal Stabbing on Los Angeles Metro Train

Homeless Man Charged with Murder in Fatal Stabbing on Los Angeles Metro Train

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón announced on Wednesday that Elliot Tramel Nowden, a homeless man with a history of violence against passengers, has been charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of Mirna Soza on a Metro train. The incident, described by Gascón as a tragedy that should have never occurred, took place at the Universal Studios train platform in North Hollywood.

Soza, a 66-year-old security guard and mother of three, was returning home from her night shift at a hamburger restaurant when she was attacked. According to authorities, Nowden approached Soza with a knife and stabbed her in the throat as they both disembarked from the train. The motive for the attack appears to be robbery, as Nowden allegedly grabbed the bag Soza was holding.

Nowden, who has a prior criminal record, including a previous attack on a Metro train passenger, was arrested shortly after the incident. In 2019, he pleaded no contest to assault charges and received probation, which included an order to stay away from Metro trains. However, he later faced additional charges and was sentenced to four years in state prison.

Despite being released on parole supervision in August 2022, Nowden was arrested again in January for trespassing. The LAPD detained him on Monday after matching his description to the attacker seen near Ventura Boulevard and Vineland Avenue.

If convicted of murder, first-degree robbery on a transit passenger, and use of a deadly weapon, Nowden could face life in prison without the possibility of parole. Gascón assured Soza’s family that justice would be pursued vigorously.

The incident has raised concerns about safety on the Metro during early morning hours. During a recent Police Commission meeting, Commissioner Maria Lou Calanche sought reassurance from Interim Police Chief Dominic Choi regarding security measures. Choi responded by stating that the department’s deployment is based on crime trends and needs, with officers strategically placed to address safety concerns.

While the LAPD aims to increase its presence and engage with riders to create a sense of safety, Choi acknowledged that they cannot be everywhere at all times. The department will continue to monitor crime trends and respond swiftly to address any issues.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

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