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Ka Pasasouk, 31, in a Las Vegas courtroom on Dec. 6, 2012.

A prosecutor erred in agreeing to the probation of a man who is now the lead suspect in a quadruple homicide in Northridge, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Tuesday.

Ka Pasasouk, 31, already had a long criminal history when he was arrested in September on a methamphetamine possession charge. Citing his history of failing to report to his agent, probation officials wanted him back behind bars.

But during a brief court hearing on Sept. 19, prosecutor Fateema Johnson offered to let Pasasouk enter a drug treatment program.

Judge Jessica Silver handed down a suspended sentence and put Pasasouk back on probation.

On Friday, district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told the Los Angeles Daily News the office would have no comment on Pasasouk's prior cases because of the pending homicide investigation. The prosecutor, Johnson, did not return a call.

But in a statement this week after further media questions, Gibbons said the office had conducted an internal review of the handling of the case.

"The review shows that the office inadvertently erred in indicating the defendant was eligible for a Proposition 36 drug program," she said. "Training issues raised during the review will be addressed by the District Attorney's Office countywide."

Pasasouk's record also included car thefts and a 2006 robbery.


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At the time of his September arrest, he already was supervised by the county Probation Department, having been released from state prison in January after an auto theft conviction.

He was supervised by the county, not the state, because of California's "realignment" program.

In September, the Probation Department objected to putting Pasasouk back on probation because he hadn't shown up to see his agent since January.

"We had concerns that he posed a threat to the safety of the community," said Reaver Bingham, deputy chief of adult field services for the Probation Department.

The four victims - Amanda Ghossein, 24, of Monterey Park; Jennifer Kim, 26, of Montebello; Robert Calabia, 34, of Eagle Rock; and Teofilo "JoJo" Navales, 49, of Castaic - were found shot dead Dec. 2 in the yard of what city officials say was an unauthorized boarding house.

Pasasouk was arrested the next day at a Las Vegas hotel along with three people whom police called accessories. Authorities said the four fled to Nevada after the killings.

Pasasouk was held on suspicion of murder, while the other three - 30-year-old Howard Alcantara, 33-year-old Christina Neal and 30-year-old Donna Rabulan - were accused of being accessories after the fact. Alcantara also is suspected of robbery.

Police have said the suspects knew the victims, but have said little about what detectives think led to the shootings.

The four suspects, who have not been formally charged, told a Nevada judge last week they would not contest extradition to California.