LOS ANGELES – The California man accused of murdering four people last week had just received a $700,000 settlement from the City of Santa Monica after he sustained serious injuries when a beach patrol officer ran him over while responding to a fire, court records and city officials confirmed.
Law enforcement sources referred to Jerrid Powell, 33, as a “vicious” killer who is believed to have used some of his settlement money to buy a gun and a car, which have subsequently been connected to the murders, NBC 4 Los Angeles reported.
Powell was laying in a crevice on the sand at a scenic beach in 2019 when he was run over. He filed a lawsuit in 2020 alleging negligence, according to authorities. The city and the court approved the settlement earlier this year.
“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,” a city spokesperson confirmed in a statement, according to NBC 4.
In regards to the murders, Powell is accused of killing three homeless men who were sleeping at the time of their deaths in separate shootings on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday of last week.
The accused killer is also charged with the Tuesday follow-home robbery and shooting death of a man in San Dimas after trailing him to his residence from an electric vehicle charging station in West Covina – about 12 miles away, Fox News reported.
Police arrested Powell on Nov. 30 following the homicide of Nicholas Simbolon, whose wife found him dead in his Tesla, parked in their garage.
Investigators linked Powell’s BMW to Simbolon’s murder. The accused killer was subsequently taken into custody when he was stopped in Beverly Hills.
Law enforcement authorities seized a handgun from his car. Ballistics testing matched the homicides, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.
Court records revealed that Powell has a felony conviction from an assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) case. He pleaded no-contest to the offense in 2018 in San Bernardino County, according to NBC 4.
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.
With at least one prior felony conviction, Powell was prohibited from legally owning or purchasing a firearm, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. It was unclear how he came to posses the weapon.
Powell made a brief appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court late Monday but postponed entering pleas to the four murder charges.