Entertainment consultant targeted by shooter who had been stalking his friend, prosecutors say

LOS ANGELES — A high-profile entertainment marketing consultant was targeted by a woman who stalked one of his friends before fatally shooting him after breaking into his Los Angeles home, prosecutors said Thursday.

The murder of Michael Latt this week sent shockwaves through Hollywood as the suspect was charged with murder and burglary. Latt, 33, had worked on projects with filmmakers such as Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay, as well as rap artist Common.

He was pronounced dead in hospital on Monday. Prosecutors allege Jameelah Elena Michl, 36, knocked on the door of his home and forced herself inside once it was open.

She had visited Latt’s home “after targeting him because he was friends with a woman she was stalking,” the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Thursday. She allegedly shot him with a semi-automatic pistol.

Authorities have not named the woman but said she was not at Latt’s home when he was shot.

Michl’s arraignment has been continued until December 15, so she has not yet entered a plea and prosecutors are seeking $3 million bail. If found guilty, she could face life in prison. The Public Prosecution Service did not immediately say whether she had a lawyer who could speak on her behalf. Online court records do not show the defendants’ attorneys present, and a representative from the public defender’s office did not immediately have information on whether a public defender had been assigned to Michl’s case.

Detectives seized Michl’s vehicle, which she had been living in, as evidence. She remained at the scene and was arrested. Officials have not released any details about the alleged stalking.

Latt’s marketing company, Lead with Love, focused on social impact, and he was inspired to start the company after working on Ryan Coogler’s film “Fruitvale Station,” about the fatal police shooting of Oscar Grant in Oakland, California, starring Michael B. Jordan, and wanted to focus its efforts on social justice movements.

He was born into a show business family: his mother, Michelle Satter, is a founding member of the Sundance Institute’s artist programs, where she helped filmmakers like Coogler and Quentin Tarantino early in their careers. His father, David Latt, is a film producer and his brother is an agent.

Latt had also worked at the Sundance Institute, which issued a statement on behalf of his family.

“He dedicated his career to serving others, using stories, art and various media to create lasting change and energize communities with hope, love and inspiration,” the statement said. “Michael will never be forgotten and his legacy and work will continue through his family, his friends and his colleagues.”

Latt also worked with Common, on the Oscars campaign for the song “Letter to the Free,” and with filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Together they launched a concert tour of the prison and helped develop Common’s nonprofit Imagine Justice.

“The moment I realized I could use my skills for social purposes, I decided to dedicate the rest of my career to helping others, empowering storytellers of color, and fighting injustice wherever it occurs,” said Latt told Forbes in 2019. Through stories and art, we can show the humanity of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women, shine a light on injustices in the system, and change the narrative about how we talk about the issues.”


Associated Press writer Lindsey Bahr contributed.