Murder charges filed in drug deaths of two women left at hospitals

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A man accused of leaving two unconscious women at hospitals, where they were later pronounced dead from drug overdoses, has been charged with their murders, court records show.

Christy Giles, 24, was brought on Nov. 13 to a hospital in Culver City, dying from what the county medical examiner-coroner determined was an overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and other drugs. A few hours later, Hilda Cabrales Arzola, 26, was left at a Los Angeles hospital, where she remained in a coma for 11 days before succumbing to organ failure and intoxication from cocaine, MDMA and possibly other drugs.

The women's deaths were ruled homicides, and the following month Los Angeles police detectives arrested David Pearce on suspicion of manslaughter. Brandt Osborn and Michael Ansbach were also arrested on suspicion of being accessories in the deaths.

In seeking a search warrant, a detective wrote in an affidavit that Pearce and Osborn had driven the unconscious women to the hospitals, claiming to be good Samaritans who found them passed out on a curb. Pearce, however, had been seen giving what looked like cocaine to Giles and Cabrales at a party the night before, the detective wrote.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to charge the men with crimes connected to the women’s deaths and sent the case back to detectives for further investigation. Osborn and Ansbach were released, while Pearce remained jailed on unrelated charges alleging he sexually assaulted or raped four women between 2010 and 2020.

Prosecutors filed new charges last week, records show. Pearce, 40, is now charged with murdering Giles and Cabrales, while Osborn, 42, is charged as an accessory to their murders. Ansbach is not charged in the case.

Osborn, an actor with credits in several low-budget productions, couldn’t be reached for comment. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest last week. It’s unclear whether he has been taken into custody and whether he is represented by a lawyer.

Along with the murder charges, Pearce faces additional sex allegations, bringing to seven the number of women he is accused of assaulting or raping. He intends to plead not guilty when he is arraigned July 11, according to his lawyer, Jacob Glucksman.

Glucksman declined to comment beyond saying his client “adamantly and strongly denies any connection to these women’s unfortunate deaths.”

It’s unclear what prompted prosecutors to bring murder charges more than seven months after Giles' and Cabrales’ deaths. The deputy district attorney assigned to the case, Catherine Mariano, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Greg Risling, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, declined to comment, citing the "sensitive nature of this ongoing investigation." Asked why Ansbach had not been charged, Risling said: "The matter remains under review."

Detectives got a warrant in January to search dozens of phones, tablets, laptops, SD cards, cameras, flash drives, VHS tapes and voice recorders seized from the three men. Det. Jonathan Vander Lee wrote in a search warrant affidavit that he believed the devices may show what happened inside Pearce and Osborn’s Pico-Robertson apartment, where Giles and Cabrales were last known to be conscious.

Giles and Cabrales met the men at a rave held in a brick warehouse in East Los Angeles, according to Vander Lee. The detective didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.

Cabrales was photographed with Pearce at the party. Around 4 a.m., she asked Giles in a text message if she wanted cocaine, Vander Lee wrote.

“Where are you?” Giles asked. She had used cocaine and ketamine earlier that night, a friend told police.

“I’m in the kitchen,” Cabrales wrote. "Let’s do a line.”

A friend of the women saw Pearce give them what looked like cocaine, according to Vander Lee’s affidavit.

Cameras at the warehouse captured Cabrales and Giles leaving the party with Pearce, Ansbach and Osborn in Osborn’s Hyundai. They got to Pearce and Osborn’s apartment on Olympic Boulevard around 5 a.m.

Twenty minutes later, Vander Lee wrote, Giles texted her friend: “Let’s go,” adding a wide-eyed emoji.

“Yes,” Cabrales responded. “I’ll call an Uber. 10 min away.”

A car was seen in surveillance footage pulling up to the apartment, waiting five minutes, then leaving, Vander Lee wrote. Detectives believe this was the ride Cabrales had ordered.

“One glaring fact is that both Giles and Cabrales wanted to leave Pearce’s residence, as is evident by their texts and ordering an Uber,” Vander Lee wrote. “The next time they are seen, they’re dead.”

A downstairs neighbor told police she heard the sounds of “someone in pain and moaning on and off” coming from upstairs between around 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., the affidavit says.

Around 4:20 p.m., surveillance footage shows, Pearce carried Giles’ body to his black Toyota Prius, whose license plates were removed, Vander Lee wrote. Pearce and Osborn drove to Southern California Medical Center in Culver City and left Giles with medical staff, claiming to have found her passed out on a curb, according to the affidavit.

They returned to the apartment, loaded Cabrales into the car and drove her to a Kaiser hospital in Mid-City, Vander Lee wrote.

Homicide detectives came to their apartment after midnight. A “visibly nervous” Osborn said he didn’t see Giles or Cabrales take any drugs, Vander Lee recalled in his affidavit.

“I didn’t give them anything, OK, I don’t live like that,” Osborn said. When he woke up he saw they were unresponsive, but “they were making noises,” he said. “I figured give them a couple hours and they’ll come out of it, but it seemed like they were getting progressively worse.”

Osborn said he’d never been in this situation before and panicked. He didn’t call an ambulance for the women because “we didn’t know them,” and he didn’t bring them to the same hospital because “we didn’t know how that would look,” he told detectives.

Pearce told detectives, “at the end of the day, I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Obviously,” he added, “I’m not going to say anything that’s going to incriminate me.”

The first of the sexual assaults Pearce is accused of committing occurred in 2010, when he responded to a woman's post on Craigslist seeking a room to rent.

She went to see the apartment, and Pearce, whom she recalled as “very flirty but charming,” offered her a glass of whiskey. As she drank it on the couch, the room started to spin, she recalled to police. When she came to, Pearce was penetrating her with a wine bottle, prosecutors wrote in court papers. After the woman fought him off and fled, Pearce sent her text messages threatening to hurt her family, a probation officer wrote in a report.

Another woman told authorities Pearce raped her while she was unconscious. Afterward, he recited her home address and threatened to hurt her family if she told anyone what he’d done, the probation officer wrote.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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