No takers yet for reward in marijuana dispensary killing
More than a week after offering a $55,000 reward for information leading to the killer or killers of Ila Packman, Los Angeles police said they have yet to receive credible tips in the high profile case.
Packman, a 39-year-old white man, was working at a medical marijuana dispensary in the 1600 block of North El Centro Avenue in Hollywood when he was stabbed to death June 24. The owner Hollywood Holistic II discovered Packman's body when he walked into his business about 9 p.m., police said.
Police believe the assailant or assailants entered the dispensary, stabbed Packman, and left with $3,000 worth of marijuana, as well as the store's closed-circuit recording equipment.
Although detectives have conducted numerous interviews and spent many hours on the investigation, no one has come forward with information that would be helpful in solving the case, investigators said.
Last week, in the hopes of generating leads, Los Angeles Council President Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky received approval for rewards in the amount of $55,000. To receive the reward, the information offered must lead to the "identification, apprehension, and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Mr. Packman," according to an LAPD news release.
The same day Packman was killed, Matthew Butcher, a 24-year-old white man, was shot to death at his job at a medical marijuana dispensary in Echo Park.
Authorities said a group of men entered Higher Path Holistic Care and held Butcher and a security guard face-down at gunpoint while they ransacked the store for cash and marijuana. Although the two did not resist, they were shot, according to an account given to police by the security guard, who survived.
Less than a month after the shooting, Daniel Hinton, a 31-year-old black man, was arrested in connection with incident and charged with murder and attempted murder. He has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following Hinton's arrest, City Councilman Ed Reyes offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the remaining suspects. On Aug. 3, authorities charged Raymond Lemone Easter, 27, with murder and attempted murder. He is currently being sought by police.
Anyone with information related to the whereabouts of either of the medical marijuana dispensary killers is asked to call LAPD Robbery Homicide detectives at (213) 486-6890. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800-222-8477).
The Homicide Report includes at least eight killings tied in some way to the medical marijuana industry since January 2007. See a full list and map of the locations: Medical marijuana-related killings
— Sarah Ardalani
Top photo: Ila Packman, Credit: Gaylan A. Hussain. Middle photo: Matthew Butcher, Credit: DMV. Bottom photo: Daniel Hinton, Credit: LAPD
Follow the Homicide Report on Twitter @latimeshomicide.
Updated: Sept. 8, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.