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Man Given Life Sentence for Murder of Prostitute

May 14, 1987

A Garden Grove man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole for the 1985 torture murder of a 19-year-old woman.

Clinton Arthur Browning, 44, was convicted of first-degree murder last month in the death of Christine Helen Reinecker, who was found strangled in her room at the Ranch Motel in Garden Grove on Feb. 13, 1985.

Prosecutors, who identified Reinecker as a prostitute, said she had been tortured over a two-hour period. It was the jurors' finding of torture that required Judge Francisco P. Briseno to sentence Browning to life without parole.

Browning was also sentenced to nine years in prison for a sexual attack on a barroom dancer that took place a month before the Reinecker murder.

Witnesses testified that Browning met Reinecker at a bar the night she was killed. Blood and other tests also connected Browning to the crime.

Browning, a clerk at a plumbing firm, was described by prosecutors as a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality, whose dark side exploded around women.

Browning admitted that he was with Reinecker on the night in question but denied killing her. He testified that he went with her to a house in Santa Ana where she got some cocaine and then returned with her to the motel room. But he claimed that he left when three Spanish-speaking men came in and attacked her.

Jurors later said they did not find his testimony credible.

Browning was arrested in Nogales, Ariz., on Oct. 8, 1985, when he turned himself in to police.

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