February 07, 2013

By LINDA DEUTSCH | Associated Press 


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man awaiting retrial after two murder convictions were overturned has been charged in three other killings linked to the so-called "Skid Row Stabber."

Bobby Joe Maxwell, 63, was charged with murder in three cases dating back to the 1970s, according to Los Angeles County grand jury indictments unsealed Tuesday. The original juries in those cases deadlocked in 1984.

Maxwell has already been awaiting retrial in two other murder cases after those convictions were overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to restore those convictions.

Maxwell was accused of killing 10 transients in Los Angeles in 1978 and 1979. Jurors convicted him of two murders, acquitted him of three and deadlocked on five of the charges. He has been in prison for more than 30 years.

But the appeals court found that he was the victim of a notorious jailhouse snitch who committed perjury in his two convictions, and overturned the verdicts in Maxwell's trial.

His new trial on charges alleging he killed David M. Jones, 39, and Frank Garcia, 45, must proceed on other evidence.

The informant was Sidney Storch, who was at the center of a scandal involving false testimony that defense lawyers said helped convict 225 defendants. Storch has since died.

The Supreme Court refused to reinstate the two convictions and a life sentence and left it to prosecutors to decide if they wanted to retry Maxwell. Prosecutors then reinstated those charges.

The new indictment reinstated charges that accuse Maxwell of murdering Jose Cortez, 32, Bruce Drake, 46, and Frank Reed, 36, in 1978.

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