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Published On: Tue, Dec 25th, 2018

Former Babysitter Nicole Chapple Arrested 12 Years After Brutal LA Murder of Taja Jones

Twelve years after the gruesome killing of 35-year-old Taja Jones who was found beaten and shot in a vehicle in South Los Angeles in 2006, a woman and her boyfriend were arrested and are now facing murder charges. The killing occurred not long after the the victim inherited a considerable sum of money, indicating that greed likely was motivation in the murder although many details on the case have yet to be released. The victim and her brother had jointly inherited about $1 million from their deceased mother several months prior to the murder.

Nicole Chapple

The suspects in the case are Nicole Chapple, 42, and Tyranda McDaniels, 49. Chapple who was arrested Nov. 15 was a long time person of interest in the case. Chapple had worked as a babysitter for Jones and had become aware of her recent inheritance.  

McDaniels is already serving jail time on an unrelated matter. Both are being each charged with one count of murder, along with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

According to authorities, the crime occured on April 20, 2006. The first sign that something was amiss was when Jones left her job at a mortgage company in the 3200 block of Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica, but later, in the day did not show up to pick up her 14-year-old son as expected.

Five days later her body was discovered in the backseat of an abandoned vehicle in a South Los Angeles neighborhood. The coroner’s reports indicated that Jones had been beaten and shot.

When it comes to inheritance, many people assume that the biggest threat is that of taxes by the government. While taxes can indeed consume a large portion of an inheritance, there is an even greater threat, and that is the family itself, which can sometimes include “extended” family members such as a babysitter, as in the Jones case. While in most cases, disagreements do not spiral into physical violence, it is better to be prepared and to prevent rifts and fighting whenever possible. According to the Law Offices of Marc J. Blumenthal, Ltd., the best way to do this is to clarify the tiniest details during the estate planning process, ideally before a death occurs. In this way, animosity and resentment can sometimes be prevented.

Author: Jacob Maslow

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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