Man charged in series of homeless murders recently received $700K settlement from Calif. city

The man charged Monday with the serial murders of three homeless men around Los Angeles, and the follow-home robbery and murder of an LA County employee in San Dimas, was the recipient of a $700,000 personal injury payment in recent months, court records and city officials confirmed.

Jerrid Powell, 33, received final approval for the payment in June by the Santa Monica City Council, after he sued following a 2019 accident, in which he said he was severely injured after being run-over by a city beach patrol vehicle.

A city spokesperson confirmed the case had been resolved and told the NBC4 I-Team in a statement, “the city settled the lawsuit claiming negligence after a Santa Monica Harbor Services Officer, after responding to a call reporting a fire on the beach, rolled over the plaintiff who was laying in a six to eight-inch-deep ditch in the sand.”

Powell was arrested last week, first in connection with the San Dimas murder, then on suspicion of the three other murders, after police said ballistic comparisons matched a gun found in Powell’s car with all of the killings.

Powell made a brief appearance in LA Superior Court late Monday but postponed entering pleas to the four murder charges. The LA County District Attorney’s Office said Powell also faced charges of residential robbery and being a felon in possession of a gun.

The felony conviction was the result of a no-contest plea Powell entered in an assault with a deadly weapon case in San Bernardino County in 2018, court records showed.

Powell was sentenced to three years of probation in the case, and in the weeks and months after the plea, was arrested and charged for two theft cases, according to court and jail records.

After the 2019 Santa Monica incident Powell filed a handwritten lawsuit over what appeared to be a dispute over rent, alleging he had been the victim of intentional emotional damage and sexual harassment. 

Powell demanded $3.3 million in damages. A judge later dismissed the case.

Civil court records also showed Powell resolved a lawsuit filed against him by a surgery center in Los Angeles. 

The case was dismissed on Nov. 30, the same day he was arrested in the San Dimas murder, with an indication Powell had paid the center’s outstanding bill.

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