Woman pleads guilty in suspected gang killing of off-duty LAPD officer
Haylee Marie Grisham faces life in prison for the related robbery and murder of an officer to maintain her standing in the Florencia 13 gang
By Libor Jany
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — A woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to her involvement in the killing of an off-duty Los Angeles police officer during an attempted robbery last year.
Haylee Marie Grisham pleaded guilty to a single count of violent crime in aid of racketeering in the January 2022 fatal shooting of Officer Fernando Arroyos, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said. Arroyos was house hunting with his girlfriend and had stopped to take pictures of a place that was for sale when they were confronted by two would-be robbers.
Arroyos tried to defend himself and his girlfriend, but he was shot during an exchange of gunfire, according to prosecutors. He died later at a hospital.
Grisham, 18 , was not accused of firing the fatal shots. She accompanied her co-defendants — Jesse Contreras, Ernesto Cisneros, and Luis Alfredo de la Rosa Rios — as they committed the robbery and murder "to increase and maintain position" within the Florencia 13 gang, according to the federal charges. Grisham had been an associate of the gang at least since 2021, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors allege that the defendants decided to target Arroyos after spotting him wearing gold chains around his neck.
The ensuing investigation moved quickly. The four defendants were charged within three days of the crime, which took place in an alley in the unincorporated Florence-Firestone neighborhood near Watts. It is in the heart of territory historically claimed by Florencia 13, whose influence has spread to nearby cities such as Huntington Park, South Gate, Maywood, Bell, and Lynwood.
It's not uncommon for younger gang members to go on "missions," carrying out robberies and other criminal acts to curry favor with older members, according to prosecutors.
In an unusual move for a local homicide case, prosecutors filed federal charges against the defendants.
Grisham will be sentenced at a later date. She could face life in prison, but prosecutors will not seek the death penalty, according to the plea agreement.