Viral Smash & Grab Robber, Arrested for Homicide After Victim’s Body Found Floating in Barrel

Malibu, CA – On October 3, 2023, two men identified as 37-year-old Joshua Lee Simmons and 41-year-old Dennis Eugene Vance, were arrested for the murder of Javonnta Marshann Murphy.

On July 31, 2023, Murphy’s body was found in a barrel at Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Muphy’s cause of death was found to be a gunshot wound to the head.

Simmons and Vance were arraigned on October 5, 2023, and Simmons was charged for an attempted smash and grab robbery in El Monte, CA, that can be seen further below.

The motive for the killing remains unknown, however, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has stated, both suspects “are known to be acquaintances of the victim.”

Simmons has been charged with murder, personal use of a firearm and criminal threats. He also faces other charges including attempted robbery, criminal threats and personal use of bear spray for the attempted robbery.

Images of Joshua Lee Simmons

Image on upper left and in middle, depict Joshua Lee Simmons during an attempted robbery in El Monte, CA.

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