California Man Fatally Beaten, Dumped Off Mountain Road - NBC 7 San Diego
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California Man Fatally Beaten, Dumped Off Mountain Road

Four men have been charged with first-degree murder with special circumstances, first-degree residential robbery and kidnapping in the case, prosecutors said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Investigators Make 3 Arrests in Forest Body Dumping

    Detectives say they know who dumped the body of a 20-year-old man off the side of Azusa Canyon Road and are now searching for a reason. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Thursday, May 31, 2018. (Published Friday, June 1, 2018)

    Four men face capital murder charges in connection with the killing of a man whose body was found entangled in brush off an Angeles National Forest road in California.

    Hercules Balaskas, 18, of Glendora; Jacob Hunter Elmendorf, 19, of La Verne; and Francisco Amigon, 19, also of La Verne were arrested in the death of Julian Hamori-Andrade, 20, of Glendora.

    Deputies were searching for Matthew Capiendo Luzon, 21, of unincorporated Azusa, said Lt. Derrick Alfred of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

    They were charged with first-degree murder with special circumstances, first-degree residential robbery and kidnapping, prosecutors said. The charges include special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and murder during the commission of a kidnapping and robbery. Balaskas allegedly beat the victim with a metal chair, prosecutors said. Luzon used a rock and a broken glass pipe, officials said.

    Prosecutors haven't decided whether to seek the death penalty.

    Hamori-Andrade was beaten unconscious at Luzon's home on Monday before he was driven to Azusa Canyon where he was beaten again, thrown over the side of a road and left for dead, officials said.

    Deputies found Hamori-Andrade's body Wednesday night in heavy brush about 30 feet down a hill off San Gabriel Canyon Road (Highway 39) near mile marker 20 in Azusa Canyon.

    Drivers who saw the pickup truck on a roadside turnout the night Hamori-Andrade was dumped led investigators to the location, officials said.

    Homicide detectives had been combing the mountain area for Hamori-Andrade since Monday after they got a call about a fight at Luzon's house.

    Deputies said three of the suspects were acquaintances of Hamori-Andrade. 

    It wasn't clear what led up to the killing.

    Family members were horrified and angry.

    Evelyn Fuentes, the victim's aunt, urged Luzon to turn himself in as the family put up a gofundme page to help pay for Hamori-Andrade's funeral.

    "We don't wish this upon anyone," she said. "He threw my nephew like he was a piece of garbage."

    Information on attorneys representing the three men who were arrested was not immediately available. 

    NBC4's Alex Vasquez and Elizabeth Chavolla contributed to this report.