Quantcast

67-year-old minister who was found strangled

The victim has been identified by the coroner's office and family members as Earnest Brannon

3/11/2014, 3:35 p.m.

The roommate of a 67-year-old minister who was found strangled inside his ransacked home in the unincorporated Westmont area near South Los Angeles was behind bars today on suspicion of murder.

Toriano Benford, 43, was arrested Monday, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Crystal Hernandez.

He is suspected of killing 67-year-old Earnest Brannon, who was killed around 10:40 p.m. Sunday at a home in the 1100 block of West 98th Street, authorities said. Benford was being held on $1 million bail.

Family members said Brannon was a minister who preached at a nearby church.

His granddaughter, Chalona Bell, told KCAL9 on Monday that Brannon had raised her and was a peaceful man. She said he moved into the Westmont address where some friends were taking care of him.

"He didn't hate nobody, didn't have one enemy,'' Bell told KCAL9.

"He liked to play guitar, the piano,'' she said."He wouldn't harm a fly. He went to church every Sunday.''