(CNS) The man accused of killing four people outside an illegal boarding house in Northridge on Dec. 2 should have been sent to prison in September when he came before a judge for a drug possession charge instead of being allowed by prosecutors to enter a drug diversion program, says the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, which is accepting the blame for the
Ka Pasasouk, 31, was on probation at the time, and while county probation officials pushed for his return to prison, prosecutors instead told the judge at a hearing in Van Nuys that he was eligible for the diversion program under Proposition 36, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Pasasouk was arrested in Las Vegas, along with three other people, a day after the shooting deaths of two men and two women about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. He has been booked on suspicion of murder. Also arrested were Howard Alcantara, 30, of Glendale; Donna Rabulan, 30,
of Los Angeles; and Christina Neal, 31, of Los Angeles. All three were booked on suspicion of aiding a felon, and Alcantara was additionally booked on suspicion of robbery, police said.
The suspects have agreed not to fight extradition to Los Angeles. The victims, found outside a five-bedroom home in the the 17400 block of Devonshire Street, were identified as Amanda Ghossein, 24, of Monterey Park; Jennifer Kim, 26, of Montebello; Robert Calabia, 34, of Los Angeles; and Teofilo Navales, 49, of Castaic.
Police have not disclosed a motive, saying only that the killings stemmed from a dispute over some property. The victims were visiting friends at the house when they were fatally
shot, police said. More than a dozen people lived in the house owned by a Yag Kapil, 78, who said he was ill and slept through the gunfire, according to published reports.
Pasasouk was in violation of his probation at the time of the killings. He had pleaded no contest to possessing methamphetamine in September. He also had multiple convictions dating back to 2004.
He was released from prison in January under the state's early release program for those locked up for non-violent, non-serious or non-sexual offenses. After his release, he repeatedly failed to check in with a county probation officer. He was then arrested in early September on suspicion of methamphetamine possession.
"We recommended that probation be denied and that he go to state prison,'' said Reaver Bingham, a county probation department deputy chief. "We did not want him in the community.''
But a Los Angeles Superior Court judge said no weapons were involved and sentenced Pasasouk to about two weeks. Pasasouk was late for a Nov. 14 follow-up hearing at which his probation was deemed violated because he failed to show proof he was enrolled in an drug treatment program, according to Bingham. A warrant for Pasasouk's arrest was in the works when the killings occurred, he said.
Spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said the District Attorney's office completed an investigation into the matter on Monday, according to The Times. "The review shows that the office inadvertently erred in indicating the defendant was eligible for a Proposition 36 drug program,'' she said in a
statement to the newspaper. "Training issues raised during the review will be addressed by the District Attorney's office countywide.''