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Trial set in 3-year-old murder case

Posted: August 26, 2014 2:07 p.m.
Updated: August 26, 2014 2:07 p.m.

Following multiple court delays, a trial date was set Tuesday for a 42-year-old Saugus man charged with murdering his live-in girlfriend in September 2011.

A judge set the trial date of Sept. 2 for Eric Allen Earle, nearly three years to the date since his girlfriend, Karla Brada, 31, was found not breathing on Sept. 1, 2011, in the Saugus home the couple shared.

Earle, who has been in custody on $1 million bail since his arrest on Jan. 25, 2012, faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison if he’s found guilty, a spokesman with the District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Earle was arrested the same day Brada was found strangled on her bed inside the Saugus home. However, deputies released him a few days later, saying they needed additional evidence to present the case to the district attorney.

Deputies in Lomita re-arrested Earle in January 2012. In May 2012 a judge ruled there was enough evidence to hold him for trial.

During that preliminary hearing, Dr. Pedro Ortiz, a deputy medical examiner with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, testified that Brada died of asphyxiation some time between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Sept. 1, 2011. She had also suffered several scrapes and bruises before she died, Ortiz testified.

In August 2013, San Fernando Superior Court Judge David B. Gelfound granted a delay in the start of Earle’s trial after prosecutors asked for more preparation time.

Prosecutors said they needed additional time to gather an “extensive amount” of discovery material, including medical and criminal records as well as DNA evidence.

Earle and Brada met during a substance abuse meeting. They later moved into the Saugus residence, homicide investigators said.

A month before Brada was found dead, Earle was arrested Aug. 5, 2011, on suspicion of corporal injury on a cohabitant. He was later charged with misdemeanor vandalism for kicking out the back window of a sheriff’s patrol car.




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