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Woman sentenced to 35 years to life for slaying of Hollywood consultant in Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman who pleaded guilty to killing entertainment consultant and social justice advocate Michael Latt was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison on Wednesday.

Jameelah Elena Michl had been stalking and threatening film director A.V. Rockwell and targeted Latt because he was Rockwell’s friend, prosecutors and police said. Michl pleaded guilty last month to charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary in connection with the November attack.

Latt was a consultant whose company focused on social impact in film and entertainment. He worked with “Selma” director Ava DuVernay and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler, among many others, and his death was mourned throughout Hollywood.

“As a tireless advocate for social justice, Mr. Latt championed equality, justice and equity in our criminal legal system,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “Mr. Latt’s ability to uplift the community left an indelible mark. His legacy will continue to inspire us to strive for a more just and inclusive society.”

Prosecutors alleged that Michl knocked on the door of Latt’s Los Angeles home on Nov. 27, 2023, forced her way in and fatally shot him with a semi-automatic handgun. He was declared dead at a hospital.

Weeks later Latt’s mother, Michelle Satter, received an honorary Oscar for her work as a founding director of the Sundance Institute, and her part of the ceremony became a tribute to her son.

Coogler, who presented the award, described her son as Satter’s “greatest gift to the world.” Satter told the audience she wanted to share the award with Latt, who always “led with love.”

Michl’s public defender, Kimberly Wong, read a statement for her client during Wednesday’s proceeding.

“Ms. Michl changed her plea to guilty in order to take responsibility for her actions and do the right thing for all involved,” Wong told the court. “At the time of the shooting she had been homeless on the streets of Los Angeles for nine months and struggling with multiple traumatic events. She is deeply saddened by the tremendous amount of pain she has caused to so many and hopes that her change in plea will help everyone to be able to heal and move forward.”

Wong declined to comment further on the case.

Associated Press