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East Ventura County Focus

SIMI VALLEY : 2nd Man on Trial in '86 Slaying Case

June 02, 1993|JEFF McDONALD

An Oceanside man accused of killing an acquaintance in a Simi Valley canyon in 1986 is guilty of voluntary manslaughter rather than second-degree murder, his attorney said Tuesday.

Alan Abraham, 30, is the second of two defendants to be tried on murder charges in Ventura County Superior Court since a hiker found the skull of 21-year-old Christopher Landry of Woodland Hills, nearly seven years after Landry was reported missing.

The skull was found in a remote canyon off Black Canyon Road outside Simi Valley in October, 1992. Co-defendant Anthony Adams, 28, of Littlerock, was convicted of second-degree murder in March.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Peter D. Kossoris and Deputy Public Defender Brian Boles agreed to a court trial for Abraham, meaning Judge Lawrence Storch will decide whether Abraham is guilty of second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.

"This obviously takes quite a bit of the weight off our shoulders in trying to demonstrate to a jury that it's not a first-degree murder," Boles said outside court Tuesday.

"We feel we have a reasonable chance at voluntary manslaughter," Boles added. "Even in the worst case, at least he'll be convicted of the same thing the co-defendant was."

Abraham, who also is facing a special allegation that he used a weapon in the commission of a crime, could be sentenced to 17 years to life if convicted of second-degree murder, Boles said.

His client would receive five, eight or 13 years in state prison if found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, the public defender said.

The trial is expected to last three to five days.

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