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The Latest: Suspect in Calif. deaths was questioned in Texas

September 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a man suspected in beatings of homeless men in Southern California (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

A man who Los Angeles police say is a “deportable felon” responsible for the beating deaths of three men was questioned weeks earlier by Houston authorities about the disappearance of his aunt but released because he had no outstanding warrants.

Houston police spokesman Kese Smith said Wednesday that 47-year-old Ramon Escobar was not a suspect in his aunt’s disappearance when he was questioned Aug. 30.

Smith said a background check determined he had no outstanding warrants and was in the country on a work visa, so he was released.

Smith says immigration status is checked only when a person is being booked into the city jail after being charged with a crime.

Federal officials say Escobar has been deported to his native El Salvador six times.

Authorities say Escobar later traveled to Los Angeles where he was being held Wednesday for allegedly attacking homeless men as they slept.

He’s now a person of interest in the disappearance of his aunt and uncle.

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1:30 a.m.

A man who was deported from the United States six times is expected in court Wednesday to face charges after police say he killed three people and injured four in attacks targeting sleeping homeless men in California.

Police planned to ask prosecutors Wednesday to charge 47-year-old Ramon Escobar with murder and attempted murder.

Investigators believe Escobar tried to rob the men.

It wasn’t known if Escobar, who is being held without bail, has an attorney.

Immigration officials say Escobar is from El Salvador but has a long criminal history in the U.S. He was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody last year after appealing his latest immigration case but his legal status wasn’t immediately clear.

Authorities in Houston consider him a person of interest in the disappearance of his aunt and uncle.

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