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Suspect in deadly stabbing of woman on Metro train faces life in prison

The homeless man accused of fatally stabbing a 67-year-old woman in the neck on a Los Angeles Metro train is facing the potential of life in prison after being formally charged Wednesday by the district attorney’s office.

The unprovoked attack occurred in the early morning hours of April 22 as the victim, identified by family as , was on a subway train from North Hollywood headed toward Union Station.

After being stabbed in the throat with two small kitchen knives, the victim got off the train at the Universal City B Line Station while bleeding profusely, the Los Angeles Police Department stated following the incident Monday.

The 67-year-old was assisted by security personnel before being rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Mirna Soza is seen in an image provided by a family member.

Soza, who worked as a security guard, was on her way home from an overnight shift when she was attacked. She is survived by her three children and seven grandchildren.

The suspect in the attack, identified by police as  on suspicion of murder and was being held on $2 million bail, authorities said.

Investigators said Nowden exited the subway at the same station as Soza and fled before being caught a short time later near Ventura Boulevard and Vineland Avenue.

Nowden, who is 45 years old and described by police as a transient, has been in trouble for harassing and attacking Metro passengers in the past.

The Los Angeles Police Department arrested 45-year-old Elliot Tramel Nowden for the random stabbing and murder of a woman on a Metro B Line train approaching the Universal City stop. The incident occurred on April 22, 2024. (KTLA)

In July 2019, he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon while on probation for attacking another passenger earlier that year, police said Tuesday.

Nowden was sentenced in December 2019 to four years in state prison but continued to frequent Metro stations after his release.

He was in custody several times this year, including in February when he was arrested for an assault at the same Red Line station, police said.

Authorities say Nowden and the victim did not know each other and believe there are other victims who have been assaulted.

“This tragic and senseless act of violence on an innocent Metro passenger has shaken our community as thousands take the Metro daily as a form of transportation,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said in a . “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time. These acts of violence have no place in our society and our office will continue to work to ensure that justice is served to those who commit these egregious crimes.”

The 45-year-old was charged with one count of murder and one count of first-degree robbery of a transit passenger.

“It also is alleged the crime was committed as a robbery-murder special circumstance, that the defendant personally used a deadly weapon, and that the victim was vulnerable during the commission of the crime,” the release noted.

At his arraignment on Wednesday, prosecutors recommended that Nowden be held without bail.

If convicted as charged, he faces life in prison without parole.