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Panhandlers Charged in Woman’s Stabbing Death in Hollywood

A dispute between three panhandlers and a woman who refused to give them $1 after taking their picture led to her stabbing death, prosecutors say.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    LAPD Detective Dave Vinton confirmed that the picture shows two of three men arrested in the stabbing death of a woman in Hollywood on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. An obscenity on the men's sign has been blurred.

    Three transients were charged Thursday in the murder of a woman who prosecutors say was stabbed to death near a busy Hollywood intersection because she refused to give them $1 after taking their picture.

    Prosecutors charged Dustin James Kinnear, 26, with one count of murder with personal use of a knife, while 33-year-old Jason Wolstone and 34-year-old Brian Joseph Widdows each received charges of accessory after the fact.

    The victim, identified Wednesday as 23-year-old Lynwood, Calif., resident Christine Calderon, was attacked about 8 p.m. Tuesday after she and a friend took pictures of the three panhandlers holding signs near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

    Calderon, pictured below, was stabbed in the torso after she and the men began to argue because she refused to give them money, police said. She died later that night during surgery at a hospital.

    Woman Stabbed and Killed at Hollywood and Highland's Walk of Fame

    [LA] Woman Stabbed and Killed at Hollywood and Highland's Walk of Fame
    The woman stabbed and killed on Hollywood and Highland's Walk of Fame Tuesday night has been identified at 23-year-old Christine Calderon. Detectives commented that Calderon and a friend were taking pictures of homeless men when they were attacked in the heart of Hollywood. Hetty Chang reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 4:30 p.m. on June 19,2013.

    However, the victim’s mother, Yolanda Tassin, said she believes Calderon was targeted because of her appearance and sexual orientation.

    “I believe Christine lost her life because of that, because she was gay,” Tassin said.

    The LAPD said it is not investigating the incident as a hate crime.

    “There is no evidence outside of the murder that it was motivated by any hate,” LAPD Sgt. Rudy Lopez said.

    Tassin said Calderon had recently enrolled in college and hoped to one day become an engineer and a mother. She was getting her life back on track after a rough couple of years.

    “As a matter of fact, Christine told me at one time, at her lowest, she was panhandling,” Tassin said.

    The men were set to be arraigned Friday morning.

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