The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner has withdrawn an initial preliminary assessment of suicide as the cause of Robert L. Fuller’s death in Palmdale, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will monitor the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into Fuller’s death.
LASD Sheriff Alex Villanueva made the announcements in a press conference late Monday morning, flanked by Captain Kent Wegener and Lieutenant Brandon Dean of the department’s Homicide Bureau and L.A. County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby.
The body of Fuller, a 24-year-old African American man, was found hanging from a tree in the 38300 block of 9th Street East in Palmdale at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 10.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger sent a letter to Becerra on Saturday requesting his intercession in the case.
“Today, I asked California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra to conduct an independent investigation into the death of Mr. Robert Fuller, who was discovered hanging from a tree in the City of Palmdale,” Barger said in a statement. “The Attorney General, as the lead attorney and law enforcement official for the State of California, will lend additional expertise and oversight into this important investigation and provide the community with the answers they deserve.
“It is my hope, that our collective efforts will help to support those struggling and grieving surrounding the circumstances of this tragedy,” Barger said.
“I take my commitment to transparency very seriously,” Villanueva tweeted Sunday afternoon. “As such, I want to thank Attorney General Xavier Becerra @AGBecerra for agreeing to monitor our investigation into the death of Robert Fuller.”
City of Palmdale officials released a statement Monday afternoon, after Villanueva’s Monday press conference:
“Following today’s press conference by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the City of Palmdale is gratified that the L.A. County Coroner’s office has withdrawn their initial preliminary assessment of death by suicide as the cause of Robert Fuller’s death.
“We are also encouraged by the Sheriff Department’s commitment to a clear and transparent process in the investigation of the June 10, 2020 death of Robert Fuller.”
Fuller’s family and Angel Magee, his youngest sister, established a GoFundMe account on his behalf on Friday.
“Words can’t describe how my family is feeling. We grew up there in the Antelope Valley, we have so many friends, families that loved Robert,” Magee wrote. “Please help with whatever you can. We greatly appreciate everyone. Thank you for standing with us during this difficult time.”
As of Monday afternoon, donations amounted to $213,127.