A Gardena man will return to court in March to hear his sentence for a 1995 murder. Police say that Elliot Kimo Laanui shot and killed Ted Emery in a parking lot in Redondo Beach. The victim and his wife were grocery shopping at the time of his murder.
According to police, the suspect approached the victim and shot him without saying a word. He then took a money clip holding $33 and fled. Retired police officers who volunteer their time to work on cold cases revisited the case file in 2011. Using DNA evidence collected from the scene in 1995, officers connected Laanui to the murder.
Laanui was arrested in 2011, and following questioning, made self-incriminating statements regarding the slaying. In addition, Laanui believed that a jailhouse inmate had “snitched” on him regarding the murder. He offered to pay two cellmates to locate a hitman to kill the inmate he believed had betrayed him.Prosecutors were not satisfied with the evidence, so they released Laanui. By 2017, prosecutors were ready to pursue Laanui based on more complete evidence. Coincidentally, Gardena police arrested Laanui following an argument in which he shot an acquaintance.
Police forwarded the Redondo Beach evidence evidence to prosecutors working on the Gardena case. They agreed to present the Redondo Beach information to the judge. The judge in the Gardena case agreed that there was sufficient evidence to proceed to a murder trial.
In late September, a Torrance jury heard the Gardena shooting and the Redondo Beach murder cases. They found Laanui guilty on all counts. Initially, Laanui was scheduled to be sentenced December 11, but the court postponed the sentencing. When he returns to court in March, he will face a sentence of 33 years, plus 25-years-to-life on all charges.
Redondo Beach murder lawyer
When you face homicide charges in California, hire an experienced murder lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience. He takes murder cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Homicide is the most serious charge you can face in California. Your life is literally on the line. Following a murder conviction, you could be sentenced to death, or life in prison with or without parole. The state has not executed a prisoner in 13 years. That hasn’t stopped Los Angeles County juries from sentencing prisoners to death. In fact, Los Angeles juries authorize the death penalty more frequently that jurors anywhere else.
Even if you don’t face the death penalty, you could still spend the rest of your life in prison. That alone is reason enough to hire an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. Don’t settle for an inexperienced, overworked and under-resourced attorney to defend you in court.
ßContact 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/fraud case.
Photo Credit: Amanda, Flickr.com