Police in Los Angeles are investigating the murder of 33-year-old Hollywood social justice advocate Michael Latt, who was shot and killed in his home on Monday by a woman who was a stand-in-actor for the film A Thousand and One, directed by A.V. Rockwell.
Jameelah Michl, 36, was charged with murder, and court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times state she had threatened and stalked Rockwell after production ended on A Thousand and One, which was released on March 31. The project received a grand jury prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, and Michl began sending hundreds of emails to Rockwell.
According to reports, Michl emailed a producer to congratulate Rockwell on her success with the film. However, when the 36-year-old realized Rockwell had not acknowledged her kind gestures, she started to send threatening emails and warned she had a gun and would kill herself.
“My Glock is loaded as I write this,” Michl wrote in an April handwritten note, according to the Times. “One pull of the trigger and I’ll be free.”
On Monday, Michl showed up at Latt’s home, forced her way inside and shot him. A press release from the district attorney’s office said she reportedly targeted Michl because he was “friends with a woman [Michl] had been stalking.” Several reports have confirmed Latt and Rockwell had a close friendship, and he supported her on the project.
Latt was transported to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries. According to the Times, Michl lived inside her car and remained at the scene until police arrived. She was arrested without incident and taken into custody.
According to Deadline, Michl was charged on Thursday with one count of murder and one count of first-degree residential burglary with a person present. She is being held on a $3 million bond. If found guilty, she could face up to life in prison.
The court documents state that Rockwell had repeatedly filed a restraining order against Michl for her behavior. She said she often feared for her life after receiving the distressing Michl’s letters and emails.
“The emotional distress has [led] to lack of sleep, inability to eat and concentrate,” she wrote, according to the court documents. “Panic attacks caused by the anxiety and fear for my safety has meant that I have been unable to return to work. Her messages have disrupted my professional relationships.”
Michl appeared to be obsessed with Rockwell but had no personal ties with Latt, Lead With Love’s founder and CEO and son of Michelle Satter, the founding senior director at the Sundance Institute.
“Our hearts ache for the loss of a passionate advocate who believed in the principles of justice and equity within our criminal legal system,” Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said Thursday in a statement obtained by Deadline. “It is devastating to see a life cut short, especially one dedicated to fighting for a more just society. This tragedy serves as a stark reminder that the pursuit of justice is a collective responsibility that we must all share.”