A 25-year-old Mexican national accused of killing an East Hollywood theater director who was his lover was transferred early today from LAPD custody to a downtown lockup, where he will await his first court appearance.
Jose Fructuoso was behind bars in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, with bail set at $1 million. He will appear in court today or Thursday, jailers said.
Fructuoso was arrested late Monday on suspicion of killing Bennett Bradley, 59, who was found dead at 5:50 p.m. Saturday inside his apartment on South New Hampshire Avenue, police said.
Bradley, director/producer at Fountain Theatre in East Hollywood, had been stabbed multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
A bloody knife was found in Bradley's apartment, Blake said, adding that the weapon was being analyzed.
Capt. Matt Blake, commanding officer of LAPD's Olympic Station, said Bradley was likely killed around 5 p.m. Friday. He and Fructuoso had a "romantic relationship," Blake said.
"We're coming up with the motive," Blake said. "We believe there's a clear motive but at this point the case is still pending. It has not been filed with the District Attorney's Office yet so we want to keep that."
Blake said detectives found evidence, which he would not disclose, that led them to Fructuoso's residence about a block away from Bradley's apartment around 10 p.m. Monday.
"We did a surveillance of the residence and we found him walking around near his residence," Blake said. "He was taken into custody and has been booked here. Since then a search warrant has been conducted at the residence of the suspect."
Evidence was found that linked Fructuoso to the murder, and during interviews with detectives he confessed to the crime, Blake said.
The Fountain Theatre in East Hollywood is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Bradley was directing "The Ballad of Emmet Till," which is scheduled to open in February. The show is based on the real-life story of a black teenager whose murder helped spark the civil rights movement.
Bradley's body was discovered by a stage manager who went to the apartment to check on Bradley because he did not show up for rehearsals.
Funeral services for Bradley were still pending, and the Fountain Theatre established a memorial fund to help offset costs and to help fund the development of new plays in his honor.
Details on the memorial fund are available online.