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Review Ordered of New Evidence in 1986 Slaying


A Superior Court judge ordered a review Friday of new evidence that provides a potential alibi for a man convicted of first-degree murder in the 1986 "thrill killing" of a sleeping Simi Valley transient.

Judge Charles McGrath's order delayed sentencing for John Robert Kilroy, 23, who was convicted in August of leading two friends to stab Derek VanDusen to death in an abandoned Simi Valley house. Kilroy faces up to a lifetime prison sentence.

One friend, Todd Jones, was offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony that Kilroy struck the first of 36 knife blows before handing the knife to him. The other friend, David Dunlap, also was convicted in the slaying. He was sentenced Oct. 5 to 16 years to life behind bars.

On Friday, the day Kilroy was to be sentenced in Ventura, his sister, Michelle Broaderick, took the stand to support a defense request for a new trial.

Broaderick testified that Kilroy, then 17, was staying at her residence in Palmdale for nearly a month at the time of the Jan. 25, 1986, slaying.

Under examination by defense attorney James M. Farley, Broaderick testified that she could not say definitely that Kilroy was visiting her at the time, then later said she was "positive" he was with her.

Farley asked whether Kilroy could have left Palmdale at some point.

"There is no way that child could have got out of my sight for more than five minutes at a time . . . for an hour, let alone all night," Broaderick answered. "I'm a real stickler about minors and being responsible."

Deputy Dist. Atty. James Ellison, however, played a tape of a police telephone interview with another woman, who told a Simi Valley detective that Kilroy admitted that he and Dunlap killed "a bum" in an empty Patricia Avenue residence known as "the Haunted House."

Kilroy, Dunlap and some friends called themselves "the High Times Stoners," Carla Boone told the officer. "They wanted to figure out how it happened, how somebody died. They were really fascinated with death," Boone said in the interview.

"Robert said they walked through there and they were giving him (VanDusen) a bit of trouble and he came at them," so they stabbed him, she said.

Boone testified Friday that she felt pressured by the detective's questions, as if he did not like her answers. "He kept asking the same question over and over, like, 'Come on, get it right, do it again,' " she testified.

Boone also testified Friday that she did not see Kilroy between Jan. 3 and some time in February, 1986.

Also, Kilroy's mother, Eileen Kilroy, testified Friday that she remembers receiving several phone calls from Kilroy in January, 1986.

Farley said after the testimony, "It's rather apparent that the evidence presented in trial was totally irrefutable and now there's evidence creeping in here which may cause any trier of fact to say, 'Wait a minute, who's telling the truth here?' "

Ellison, however, argued that before the trial, Farley and his investigator interviewed Broaderick, who said she didn't know where Kilroy was during the crime.

He also said Broaderick admitted on the stand that she had been convicted of felony forgery, burglary and receiving stolen goods in the 1970s.

McGrath ordered the hearing to be reconvened on Nov. 13 so the attorneys can gather more evidence.

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