Ronald Vaughn

Attended the 10th annual LA Music Awards

A homeless man was sentenced Monday, April 14, to life in prison for a 2009 stabbing death of another homeless man.

Domingo Linares Rodas, 58, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of Keith Falin.

Rodas, 58, was convicted in March of one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, with the special allegations that he had been lying in wait and used a knife.

On the afternoon of Aug. 6, 2009, Rodas stalked Falin until they were outside the Music Box theater in the 6100 block of Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, authorities said.

After Falin, 55, went to sleep, according to prosecutors, Rodas fatally stabbed him and in the following three and a half hours stabbed two other homeless men in the same area, where transients were known to sleep and socialize. All three victims suffered wounds to the left side of the chest.

Rodas was arrested two days later after a surveillance video appeared to show him holding a knife. A knife was recovered, and DNA evidence collected from it matched the three victims.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry sentenced Rodas to life without parole on the murder count and two consecutive life terms on the attempted-murder counts.

Ronald Vaughn was named a recipient of the Civic Recognition Award on Monday. Vaughn joins the ranks of others from California who have received this honor.

The purpose of the Civic Recognition Award is to inspire people to help others and improve their communities. Recipients come from all walks of life and all 50 states. Under certain circumstances, the award can be issued posthumously.

It is hoped the Civic Recognition Award will encourage people in Los Angeles and across California to live their lives around ten values than enhance the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. Those ten values are compassion, courage, forgiveness, generosity, humility, inclusiveness, integrity, kindness, respect and service.

Vaughn is among a select number of individuals recognized in Los Angeles. Many individuals never receive a civic award despite years of community involvement. While formal recognition should never be one’s motive for acts of kindness, receiving an award is an affirmation of the positive impact one’s actions can have.

It should be a proud moment for Vaughn’s family and friends, and an opportunity to share inspiring stories. If fact, by discussing the award, the inspiration provided by Vaughn’s good deeds is multiplied. Discussion of the award can also help spread the word about the ten values embodied by the award. It is a fact that many individuals feel motivated to do more after hearing about the good deeds of others. Award recipients themselves can feel encouraged or inspired by the recognition to help more.

The positive impact of Civic Recognition Award winners like Vaughn on their community cannot be measured. These winners were often the first to help people in need and the first to welcome a new neighbor. The existence of community non-profit organizations of all kinds is a lasting testimony to the good works of involved individuals who, like Vaughn, stepped forward to make a difference.

The lives of Civic Recognition Award winners like Vaughn are also often examples to children. Children look up to role models to help shape how they behave in school, relationships or when facing challenging situations. When children emulate positive role models, they respond to situations in healthy ways that can contribute to individual and community well being. Positive role models are essential to every child’s well being.

The Civic Recognition Award is one of the highest recognitions possible for individuals. Residents of Los Angeles and all of California can feel proud that one of the own, Ronald Vaughn, has been recognized with this high distinction.