A transient Los Angeles man will remain in prison for murder after the State Supreme Court denied a case review. A jury convicted Zackariah Lehnen of a double homicide in Culver City in 2011.
In addition to the first degree homicide charge, jurors also found true two special allegations, including multiple murder. They also found true a special allegation that Lehnen used a knife to kill his victims.
According to testimony, Lehnen encountered the homeowner in a nearby park a year earlier. He sometimes sought work from the man. On the day of the murders, a 27-year-old female acquaintance of the suspect accompanied him to the home. While there, he propositioned the 27-year-old woman. When she refused the man’s sexual advances, he attacked and beat her, then repeatedly stabbed her. He then attacked the 89-year-old homeowner, and also killed him after he tried to intervene.
The suspect, who was on parole at the time of the killings, later confessed to another inmate while in jail. He also admitted to being high on methamphetamine at the time of the killings.
The man’s attorney said the trial judge erred in admitting the jailhouse confession. The petition also argued that the court did not instruct the jury to consider a lesser offense, like voluntary manslaughter. A three-judge appeals panel rejected both arguments, saying that the man voluntarily confessed to the murders. In refusing to hear the man’s appeal, the Supreme Court allowed the appeals ruling to stand.
Culver City murder lawyer
When you face charges involving homicide, hire an experienced murder lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Murder is the most serious charge you can face in California. In addition to facing the possibility of life in prison, a murder conviction can result in the death penalty. Statistically, Los Angeles juries assign the death penalty more frequently than jurors in any other California county.
Don’t risk your life on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that you can’t offer an effective defense. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County murder case.
Photo Credit: Ken Lund, Flickr.com