Ricky Kyle was filled with hate for his millionaire father and greed for his fortune, a prosecutor told jurors Monday during final arguments in Kyle's patricide retrial.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Stanley Weisberg reminded jurors of evidence presented during the 4 1/2-month second trial of Henry Harrison (Ricky) Kyle Jr., charged with first-degree murder in the July, 1983, shooting death of his father, production company executive Henry Harrison Kyle Sr., 60.
Kyle's first trial ended in a mistrial in April, 1985, when a Superior Court jury deadlocked 10-2 for conviction.
"Before Henry Kyle's death, Ricky Kyle talked about killing his father because he hated him and he was desperate for his money," Weisberg said. "Ricky Kyle did kill his father. He put a bullet through his father's heart, then told people afterward."
Weisberg said Kyle's only complaints were that he got caught and that he inherited only $1.5 million of his father's money, most of which he spent on lawyers.
The jury was to get the case today after defense attorney John Vandevelde delivers his closing statement. The defense contends that the shooting occurred accidentally as the younger and elder Kyles searched the family's mansion at night for a prowler.
The elder Kyle had moved to Los Angeles in the spring of 1983 after buying into Four Star Productions, a television production company. He headed a $100-million empire that included apartments, restaurants, dairy farms, a bank and a TV studio. His personal fortune was estimated at $20 million.
Weisberg said the 23-year-old defendant is a liar who deceived his father and stole from his family to support a cocaine habit. Weisberg conceded that Henry Kyle Sr. was "far from a perfect father."
Prosecutors claim that the younger Kyle, fearing that he would be cut from his father's will, lured his father out of bed on the night of July 22, 1983, claiming that he heard a prowler inside his father's newly acquired Bel-Air home.
Investigators said said the son used the ruse as an excuse to shoot Kyle, who returned fire. The younger Kyle was wounded in the arm.
Kyle claimed during the trial that he fired when his father suddenly turned on him and shot while both were looking for the prowler. Kyle told police immediately after the shooting that both he and his father had been attacked by a prowler, but he later changed his story, saying he had been upset and confused by the incident.
Kyle testified that his father had been growing wary of him in the days before the incident because the son had begun talking back to the elder Kyle and blocking his punches, instead of taking them.
Weisberg said Kyle's relationship with his father was loveless and filled with opportunism and greed, saying Kyle liked to brag about his alleged murder plot.
"Ricky Kyle liked to talk about himself, that's a facet of his personality that comes out loud and clear," Weisberg said.
He reminded jurors of testimony from witnesses who said Kyle had told them before the slaying that he hated his father for abusing him and his brother.
One witness testified that Kyle was preoccupied with the abuse and told her that both he and his brother, Scott, wanted to kill Henry Kyle before the end of summer but that Scott was too cowardly to help.