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Hollywood man, 22 – who stuffed corpse of man, 49, into suitcase, left in dumpster – guilty of murder

A 22-year-old Hollywood man found guilty of murdering a man, whose body was stuffed in a large suitcase inside a Hollywood dumpster, is scheduled to be sentenced next week. Photo: Los Angeles Superior Court.

LOS ANGELES — A 22-year-old Hollywood man found guilty of murdering a man, whose body was stuffed in a large suitcase inside a Hollywood dumpster, is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

Merdan Haydarov was found guilty January 31 of second-degree murder in the killing of Randall Kreeger, 49. Haydarov went to Kreeger’s Koreatown apartment on Nov. 23. 2013 to borrow money, but ended up slashing Kreeger’s throat after he allegedly made a romantic advance, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said in a press statement. Haydarov and Kreeger are gay and met about three weeks before the murder, Deputy District Attorney Radhika Patel said.

Haydarov could face 16 years to life in prison when he is scheduled to be sentence on February 16 at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles, Patel said.

Haydarov, who didn’t testify in the trial, claimed self-defense in his statement to police, but the motive for the murder is unclear, Patel said.

Vito Caruso, head deputy in the Alternate Public Defender’s Office said he couldn’t comment on the case.

Los Angeles police arrested Haydarov November 24 in Hollywood after he was caught driving Kreeger’s car. Haydarov was charged with first-degree murder during the commission of a robbery. Haydarov stole Kreeger’s computer and passport.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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