Man Publicly Executed While Eating Dinner

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Two men have been charged in connection with the cold-blooded murder of a 43-year-old man at Fixins Soul Kitchen, a bustling restaurant within the L.A. Live entertainment complex near the Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California, on the evening of November 28, 2023.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office announced the charges on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Phillip Pasco Clark, 33, and Santana Jermaine Kelly, 50, face charges of murder and conspiracy to commit a crime following the fatal shooting of Sidney Barrett Morris, who was dining alone at the hotel. According to prosecutors, Clark entered the establishment. He approached Morris, shooting him at close range and wounding another woman before fleeing the scene in a vehicle driven by an unidentified person.

Captain Raul Jovel of the Los Angeles Police Department expressed his shock and dismay at the incident occurring in what is widely regarded as a safe, family-oriented area. His sentiments were echoed by District Attorney George Gascón, who lamented the loss of Morris, a man celebrated for his lifelong commitment to promoting inclusivity and harmony.

Morris’s profound impact on his community was evident through his work as the Title IX coordinator and director of equity and diversity at California State University, Northridge. He resigned from this role a few months before his death, a departure for which the reasons were not publicly disclosed. His dedication to positive societal change was well-known.

The university’s 2019 announcement about Morris’s addition to their staff mentioned his relation to Barrett Strong, the famed Motown composer responsible for creating iconic songs including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “War,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”

Morris was engaged in his law studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, when his life was tragically ended.

The investigation into Morris’s murder unveiled a deliberate plot, with Kelly accused of assisting in the planning of the shooting, providing logistical support, and attempting to erase evidence by setting the getaway vehicle on fire the following day. The crime’s calculated nature and the effort to destroy evidence add a layer of brazenness to the tragedy.

Both suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Clark’s bail is $4.06 million, while Kelly’s is $3.06 million. If convicted, Kelly could face a maximum sentence of 100 years to life in prison, whereas Clark could face up to 85 years to life.

As the legal process continues, with both men expected to appear in court again on April 25, the city remembers Morris, a man whose life and work sought to bridge divides and foster unity. His loss is felt deeply, not only by those who knew him but by all who value peace and justice in their communities.

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