Man Pleads Guilty in Azusa-Area Killing

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - One of five men who had been charged in the beating death of a young man whose body was found on the side of a mountain road in the Angeles National Forest pleaded guilty Friday to voluntary manslaughter and other charges.

Andrew Williams, now 23, is facing a 25-year prison term in connection with the May 2018 attack on Julian Hamori-Andrade, with sentencing set Nov. 15 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

Williams pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter, three counts of kidnapping and seven counts of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. All of the charges involve the same victim.

His plea marks the third in the case, with two other defendants still awaiting trial.

Francisco Amigon was sentenced to 11 years in state prison and Jacob Hunter Elmendorf was ordered to serve six years behind bars after the two pleaded no contest in September 2021 to voluntary manslaughter.

A trial date is expected to be set next Friday for co-defendants Hercules Dimitrios Balaskas, 23, and Matthew Martin Capiendo, 26, who are charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery. They could face potential life prison sentences if convicted as charged.

The 20-year-old victim's body was discovered May 30, 2018, in heavy brush about 30 feet down a hill alongside Highway 39 in Azusa Canyon, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities said he was beaten at Capiendo's home in the 6100 block of Goodway Drive in the Azusa area, where authorities found a large pool of blood on the floor two days earlier. Hamori-Andrade was then driven to Azusa Canyon, where again he was beaten and thrown over the side of the road, according to investigators.

At the sentencing in 2021 for Amigon and Elmendorf, the victim's mother thanked the two for admitting responsibility for their roles and said she had "no hate" for them.

"These have been three long years ... Julian is gone forever," Desiree Andrade said. "Please think about what you do in the future."

The victim's sister, Jasmine Hamori-Andrade, told Amigon and Elmendorf, "You guys have a future that my brother doesn't have. Be smart."

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