South Central, Los Angeles–Ivan Hernandez, 23, who has been labeled a “reputable gang member” by media, was arraigned last week in the murder of USC student Victor McElhaney.
McElhaney was shot and killed during a robbery attempt after exiting a store about a mile from campus March 10, near Maple Avenue and Adams Boulevard. The Jazz studies major is the son of Oakland city councilwoman Lynette McElhaney.
In July, Ivan Hernandez was charged with one count of murder and attempted second-degree robbery. Hernandez charges will be enhanced due to the special circumstances of gang involvement.
Prosecutors are expected to decide whether to seek the death penalty against Hernandez later this week. He was arrested June 28 by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.
“Victor was an extraordinarily talented drummer and “a bright light”, said USC jazz professor Peter Erskine. USC music school dean Robert Cutietta said in a statement, “He enjoyed mentoring young musicians and had a long-standing commitment to community service.”
In a letter to students and faculty, USC interim President Wanda Austin wrote that McElhaney “believed in the power of music to touch lives, to heal, and to bring hope.”
“He didn’t think about himself,” said Oakland Councilman Larry Reid. “He thought about others. He was just an all-around great young man,” (Geoffreylive.com)
A $50,000 reward was issued by the city of Los Angeles for information in McElhaney’s shooting death back in May.