Watch CBS News

Man who broke into Getty House over weekend was "targeting" Mayor Karen Bass, says DA Gascón

Man faces more than 13 years in prison for breaking into Mayor Karen Bass' home
Man faces more than 13 years in prison for breaking into Mayor Karen Bass' home 01:18

Criminal charges have been filed against the man arrested after he allegedly broke into Getty House, official home of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, over the weekend. 

Ephraim Hunter, 29, was taken into custody early Sunday morning after he broke a glass door at the rear of the home to force entry at around 6:40 a.m. He has remained jailed on suspicion of burglary since then and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. 

During a press conference on Tuesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that Hunter had been charged with one count of first-degree residential burglary with persons present and one count of vandalism of $400 or more in damage or destruction of property, both felonies.

Additionally, another charge was filed on an allegation of a prior strike for a previous conviction in Massachusetts. If convicted of all charges, he faces up to 13 years and four months in prison. 

Gascón says that Hunter caused between $5,000 and $10,000 in damage to the home after he shattered the glass, which cut him, causing blood stains to be left behind throughout the house.

Hunter pleaded not guilty to the charges in a downtown LA court on Tuesday. He is due back in court on May 6. 

Charges announced against man who broke into Mayor Karen Bass' home 02:20

The break in happened while Mayor Bass and her family were inside but unharmed, said Los Angeles Police Department officials. The shattered glass triggered an alarm that alerted police, who responded to the home immediately and took Hunter into custody. 

On Tuesday, LAPD Interim Chief Dominic Choi said that the break in happened during a scheduled shift change amongst members of the mayor's security detail, so no one was actually present when it took place. The shift was set to begin at 7 a.m., so security team members who had previously been on hand were heading home. 

He said that even if a full team was on scene they may not have been able to prevent Hunter from breaking in due to the size of the Getty House property, and the fact that it happened at a back entrance. 

Because of this, however, they will now be scheduling security on property to remove any gaps in coverage. 

A motive for the incident remains under investigation, but Gascón said that it is believed that Hunter was targeting the mayor because of his "actions" inside of the home. He did not go into further detail. 

"There were actions inside the property that were consistent with he knew that this was the mayor's home and he was looking for her," Gascón said. 

A public defender representing Hunter in court on Tuesday said that the act was not intentional as she argued for no bail. 

"Mr. Hunter was under the influence of a controlled substance and was not aware of his whereabouts or what he was doing," said Carlos Bido, a deputy public defender. 

Bido continued to note that Hunter has his GED, works for a nonprofit and has been staying in the area with his brother for the last couple of months. 

The DA countered that, referring to a previous conviction across the country. 

Hunter was previously charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, assault and battery for his part in an attack on a man in Massachusetts in 2015, according to court records. He was convicted to more than six years in prison. 

During a briefing on her proposed city budget on Monday, Bass briefly spoke on the incident. 

"I just want to thank the Los Angeles Police Department again for responding to the incident at the Getty House yesterday," she said. "Investigations are ongoing, so I won't have any further comment at this moment. But again, I want to thank the Los Angeles Police Department for their work."

The Getty House, located in the 600 block of S. Irving Boulevard in the Windsor Square district of Hancock Park, has been the official residence of the Los Angeles Mayor since 1977. Bass and her family have lived in the home since early 2023 after she was elected to the position.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.