Teenage Girl Charged With Murder in Shooting Death of Actor

AP Wire Service

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A 15-year-old girl has been charged with murder in the shooting death of television and film actor Merlin Santana, authorities said.

The teen, who was being held in juvenile custody, was also charged with the attempted murder of a man who was with Santana, district attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Thursday. Her identity was not released because she is a minor.

She was ordered to return to court Dec. 10 when a judge will determine if she will be tried as a juvenile or adult.

Santana, who recently appeared in the Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro movie “Showtime,” was shot to death early Saturday while sitting in the passenger seat of a car parked in south Los Angeles.

Police said at least one person approached the car and opened fire, striking the 26-year-old actor. Santana’s companion, who was not hit, drove off and flagged down police.

The shooting is still under investigation and police are looking for additional suspects, said Officer Don Cox, a police spokesman. No motive has been given.

The New York-born Santana earned nominations for the National Association of Colored People’s Image Awards and the ALMA Awards, which honor Hispanic performers, for his recurring role as Romeo Santana on “The Steve Harvey Show.”