A man dubbed the “Western Bandit” for allegedly committing a series of armed robberies and shootings along Western Avenue was charged with two counts of murder and dozens of attempted murders and assaults beginning in 2011, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. Patrick Watkins (DOB 3/1/64) was scheduled to be arraigned in Department 30 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in case BA441111. Prosecutors asked that he be held without bail. Watkins is charged with the special circumstance murders of Nathan Vickers on Jan. 17, 2011, and Larise Smith on Dec. 8, 2014. The special circumstance of multiple murders makes him eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek death. He is charged with a total of 53 counts, including 26 counts of attempted murder; 13 counts of assault with a firearm, five counts of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, four counts of second-degree robbery and felon in possession of a firearm.
The incidents occurred between November 2011 and November 2014. Watkins is suspected of riding his bicycle up to people sitting in cars, either demanding cash or opening fire on the occupants. In some cases, he allegedly approached people on foot and either robbed them or shot them. Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef with the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.