Detectives make arrest in 2001 Compton cold case double murder

On Aug. 8, 2001, a neighborhood experienced five separate drive-by shootings in the Compton area. The five separate drive-by shootings tragically resulted in the unintended double murder of two-year-old Kali Murphy and her 25-year-old father, Stephen Murphy. These shootings appeared to be acts of retaliation for a gang murder that occurred the previous night.

The double murder of Stephen and Kali Murphy was the result of the third shooting that night, which occurred at 13130 Willowbrook Ave. Both victims sustained gunshot wounds to their head and were pronounced deceased at the location by rescue personnel.

Investigators believed the double murder of Stephen and Kali Murphy was committed by a local black gang, and witnesses from that fateful night provided descriptions of two male black suspects involved.

The double murder case was thoroughly investigated in 2001, but unfortunately, no arrests were made, and the case went cold. In 2019, at the request of family members, the case was reviewed by Homicide Bureau’s Unsolved Unit, and the decision was made to reactivate the investigation. This decision was primarily driven by advancements in DNA technology that were not available in 2001.

During the ongoing investigation, significant progress had been achieved in the case, providing hope that those responsible for the heinous double murder would finally be identified and brought to justice. This progress includes information obtained from the public, physical evidence, as well as the forthcoming results of current DNA

Detectives arrested 47-year-old Jahon Smith for the murder of Stephen and Kali Murphy. Smith is held with no bail and will be arraigned on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.

While one individual has been arrested in connection with the double murder, it is known that there are other potential suspects linked to the case. LASD Homicide Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying and apprehending these additional individuals involved in the double murder.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website

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