A teen-ager who killed a neighbor with a rented Uzi semiautomatic rifle after the victim revealed the youth's homosexuality was sentenced today to 17 years to life in prison.
Robert Rosenkrantz, 19, was convicted of second-degree murder June 9, nearly a year after he gunned down Stephen Redman, 17, who had taunted Rosenkrantz about his homosexuality.
Superior Court jurors, who deliberated two days, rejected prosecution arguments for a first-degree murder conviction and defense pleas for a manslaughter verdict.
The slaying, in Calabasas on June 28, 1985, occurred after Redman and Rosenkrantz's brother, Joseph, 17, found Rosenkrantz in a homosexual encounter at the Rosenkrantz family's beach home in Hermosa Beach.
On the night of Rosenkrantz's high school graduation, the pair went to his father and described what they had seen, testimony indicated.
Rosenkrantz persuaded his brother to take back his story, then went to Redman's home to frighten the other youth into recanting as well, attorneys said.
But Redman was shot 10 times during the confrontation, medical experts testified.
Rosenkrantz said he called his brother on the telephone and told him: "I did something terrible to Steve. I shot him."
For a month, Rosenkrantz eluded police. But in a telephone call just hours after the killing to Roy Wielkie, a retired sheriff's deputy whom Rosenkrantz considered a friend, he said: "Him (Redman) and my brother made my life take a 180-degree turn overnight."
He added that his brother and Redman had beaten him with an eight-cell flashlight and shocked him with an electric stun gun after they spied on him and confronted him with what they had seen.