Man Charged with Two Murders, Including Body in Barrel, Faces Arraignment

LOS ANGELES, California — A man previously charged with the murder of a man found in a 55-gallon drum on a Malibu beach is facing an additional murder count for a separate killing in Inglewood nearly a year ago. Joshua Lee Simmons, 37, is scheduled to appear in court next week on the new charge involving the shooting death of Anthony Soloc, 50, on January 20, 2023.

The amended criminal complaint also includes special-circumstance allegations of multiple murders, as well as accusations that Simmons personally used an assault weapon and a semi-automatic pistol. Simmons had previously been charged with the murder of Javonnta Marshann Murphy, whose body was discovered in the drum on Pacific Coast Highway. The lifeguard who found the barrel was able to bring it to shore and discovered the body inside.

In addition to the murder charges, Simmons is also facing counts of criminal threats and attempted robbery, along with prior convictions for grand theft and burglary. He was arrested in October by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and has been in custody since then. A second defendant, Dennis Eugene Vance, 41, is charged with being an accessory after the fact and is currently out on bond.

The case continues to develop as the arraignment for the new murder charge approaches. The sheriff’s homicide investigators have been working diligently to gather evidence related to the crimes. The victims’ families and the community eagerly await justice as the legal process unfolds. The specifics of the allegations and evidence will be presented in court as the trial progresses.

The arraignment for the new murder charge is set to take place in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom next Friday. The accused, Joshua Lee Simmons, is facing serious charges, including multiple murders and additional criminal offenses. The victim’s families and the community are hopeful for a fair and just legal process.