Man charged for allegedly starting fatal fire in studio
A male defendant has been charged with setting a fire inside a recording studio in Studio City, killing two people and severely injuring two others.
Efrem Zimbalist Demery, 28, of Los Angeles has been charged with five felonies including two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of arson of a structure. The felony complaint includes special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, use of an accelerant and committing great bodily injury during the commission of a crime.
Prosecutors said on the morning of April 14, a fire erupted at a recording studio located in the 3700 block of Cahuenga Boulevard, just north of Hollywood and the Cahuenga Pass. After firefighters extinguished the blaze, they discovered the bodies of Devaughn Carter and Michael Pollard. An additional unidentified man and woman also were seriously injured in the blaze.
Later that day, law enforcement located Demery in South Los Angeles and arrested him in connection with the fatal fire. The motive is suspected to be a dispute between the defendant and at least one of the victims.
Demery faces the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The decision whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date.