News Releases

January 3, 2018: CORRECTION: Long Beach Man Charged with Killing Roommate, Dumping Body

Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer

CORRECTION: Corrects name of co-defendant to James Leonard Pettie.

An 87-year-old man was charged today with fatally stabbing his roommate on New Year’s Eve, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Ernest Weston (dob 11/5/30) has been charged with one count of murder in case NA108140. The felony complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime.

Weston’s co-defendant, James Leonard Pettie (dob 8/11/59), has been charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Weston and Pettie are scheduled to be arraigned today in Department S01 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch. Prosecutors are asking that bail be set at $2 million for Weston and $1 million for Pettie.

Prosecutors said at the time of the reported crime, Weston, Pettie and victim Todd Dunlap were roommates in a home in the 400 block of East 5th Street in Long Beach.

On Dec. 31, Weston allegedly stabbed Dunlap with a knife, according to prosecutors. Pettie then reportedly assisted Weston in dumping the body in a Long Beach alley, prosecutors added.

After discovering the body, authorities conducted further investigation and arrested the two men in connection with the killing.

If convicted as charged, Weston faces a maximum possible sentence of 26 years to life in state prison, while Pettie faces three years in county jail.

The case is being investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.