January 7, 2019 / 10:11 PM / 6 months ago

Ex-convict charged in Malibu shootings that put city on edge

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A man already jailed for parole violations was charged on Monday with murder and attempted murder in connection with a string of shootings in the foothills above Malibu that killed a research scientist camping with his daughters and set nerves on edge.

Anthony Rauda, 42, was arrested on Oct. 10 near Malibu Creek State Park following the seemingly random shootings dating back two years and sentenced to six months behind bars for parole violations stemming from his possession of a firearm and ammunition.

On Monday, Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Rauda with one count of murder, 10 counts of attempted murder and five counts of burglary.

During a brief court appearance, Rauda’s bail was set at $1.1 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. He did not enter a plea and his hearing was continued until Jan. 22. Deputy Public Defender Max Fantozzi declined to comment after the hearing, according to the newspaper, and could not be reached by Reuters.

Prosecutors said Rauda was accused of opening fire on campers and motorists in Malibu Creek State Park in November 2016, wounding a man sleeping in a hammock.

According to charging documents, Rauda also shot into vehicles three times in 2017 and again in June 2018.

Four days after last June’s shooting, Tristan Beaudette, a 35-year-old research scientist from Irvine, California, was shot and killed while sleeping in a tent with his two young daughters during a trip to the state park. The two girls were unhurt.

Rauda was also charged with a string of residential burglaries in and around the upscale community of Calabasas, just north of Malibu.

“After a lengthy, extensive investigation, evidence was developed and gathered, incriminating Rauda as being responsible for a series of armed burglaries, multiple shooting incidents, and the murder of Tristan Beaudette,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a written statement.

“A concentrated effort by Detectives to unearth the past activities of Rauda correlating with this investigation, has revealed that he apparently acted alone during this identified crime spree, stretching from November 2016 to October 2018. No similar crimes have been reported in the area since the October 2018, arrest of Rauda,” the sheriff’s department said.

Rauda has seven previous convictions for weapons violations dating back to 2006, according to City News Service.

The seemingly random attacks in Malibu Creek State Park put residents and visitors on edge for nearly two years.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Peter Cooney

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