News Releases

April 17, 2018: Man Charged with Capital Murder for Studio City Fire

Contact: 
Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A man has been charged with setting ablaze a Studio City recording studio, killing two people and severely injuring two others, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Efrem Zimbalist Demery (dob 2/20/90) of Los Angeles has been charged with five felony counts in case LA088204: two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of arson of a structure.

The felony complaint includes a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders. Additionally, the charging document contains special allegations that the defendant used an accelerant and committed great bodily injury during the commission of the crime.

Demery is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 100 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch. Prosecutors are asking that he be held on no bail.

Deputy District Attorney Rachel Bowers of the Arson and Explosives Section is assigned to the case.

Prosecutors said on the morning of April 14, a fire broke out at a recording studio located in the 3700 block of Cahuenga Boulevard in Studio City.

After authorities put out the fire, they discovered the bodies of Devaughn Carter and Michael Pollard. A male and female also were seriously injured in the blaze, prosecutors added.

Later that day, law enforcement located Demery in South Los Angeles and arrested him in connection with the fatal fire, the prosecutor added.

If convicted as charged, the defendant faces the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The decision whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date.

The case is being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.