Suspect in Venice Attacks Charged With Murder After Victim’s Death

Suspect in Venice Attacks Charged With Murder After Victim’s Death

Sarah Alden died after a brutal attack in the Venice area of Los Angeles on April 6, 2024. (Kathleen Butler/GoFundMe)

City News Service
City News Service

5/28/2024

Updated: 5/28/2024

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LOS ANGELES—A man who was previously charged with sexually assaulting and brutalizing two women in the Venice Canals area has been charged with murder following the death of one of the victims, the District Attorney’s Office announced May 28.
Anthony Francisco Jones, 29, is accused of attacking the two women on the night of April 6. One of the victims, 53-year-old Sarah Alden, had been in a coma since the attack but was taken off life support and died Friday.
“Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the victim’s family and friends during this unimaginably tragic time,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement Tuesday announcing the murder charge. “We are committed to seeking justice for both victims of these heinous crimes. The additional murder charge carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, in addition to the life sentences for the crimes previously alleged.”
Mr. Jones was arrested in San Diego last month in connection with the assaults and was originally charged with mayhem, torture, attempted murder, and other related charges.
He is due back in court June 11 at the Airport Branch Courthouse, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial. He is being held without bail.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department and prosecutors, the first attack occurred about 10:30 p.m. April 6 in the 2700 block of Strongs Drive, where Ms. Alden was approached from behind and struck with a blunt object, leaving Ms. Alden unconscious. The suspect similarly attacked another woman about an hour later as she was walking near the Sherman Canal. That woman also suffered severe injuries but survived.
Ms. Alden, a Massachusetts resident, was a mother of two sons and was in the process of moving to Venice when the attack occurred.
According to a GoFundMe page established to help pay funeral expenses, she was planning to meet two close friends for breakfast on April 7 to tell them she was moving to the Los Angeles area from Massachusetts.
“She was a lover of sunrises on the east coast and sunsets on the west coast,” a friend wrote on the page. “Sarah adored her two sons, her animals, and was blessed with a refined eye for vintage jewelry which she sold on roseark.com. At 53 years old, Sarah was looking to start a new chapter in her journey; to walk a new road. Instead, her life was violently taken from her.”
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