The victim of a fatal stabbing that forced a police lockdown of a wide area of Pasadena may have been killed after he told the suspect that he couldn’t help the wife with her drug problem.
Telly Johnson, 42, was arrested on Friday night in Los Angeles and booked on suspicion of murdering Byron Young Nettles, 48.
Johnson appeared in court on Tuesday in Pasadena. His arraignment was held over until March 13. He is being held on $2 million bail.
According to police, Johnson fatally stabbed Nettles shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, March 1, in the 100 block of South Euclid Avenue. Nettles was rushed to Huntington Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. He later died from his wounds.
Nettles managed the Euclid Villa Transition Housing facility, a 14-unit apartment complex that offers housing and programs for families transitioning out of homelessness.
Nettles’ wife T’Shawn Demethris told KCAL TV, Channel 9 that her husband of 22 years was a very kind man who helped all he could, but when he told the suspect he did not have the power to help the man’s wife with her drug addiction the man flew into a rage and attacked him.
“He didn’t make it,” she said. “He didn’t make it. They tried. They were the best. He was a good person and a great father. He was just so helpful to everybody.”
Low-income families are allowed to stay two years at the facility and are required to pay 30 percent of their income for rent. Case management and supportive services are provided on site. The facility is owned and operated by Union Station Homeless Services and Pacific Housing Alliance.
One witness told KCAL that she saw the killer stab Nettles in the face and chest with a switchblade knife after a fistfight.
“The perpetrator definitely was not a resident at the location,” said Union Station Spokesperson Dana Bean. “We are all incredibly devastated by the tragic death of Byron Nettles. We believe his attacker was someone he knew personally and that this was a private, family conflict. There were no residents or staff of Union Station involved in the incident.”