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2nd Convicted in Woman's Murder : Verdict: Kathy Lee, 49, was killed by robbers in 1991 as she arrived to pick up her son from work.

July 26, 1994|ANNA CEKOLA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — A Superior Court jury convicted a Los Angeles man of first-degree murder Monday for his role in the slaying of a 49-year-old woman who stumbled upon an armed robbery in 1991 at a Fountain Valley computer store.

Eric D. Clark, 23, the second defendant in the case to be convicted of first-degree murder with special circumstances, could face life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Sept. 30, Deputy Dist. Atty. Randolph J. Pawloski said.

The jury also found Clark guilty of burglary, three counts of robbery, conspiracy to commit burglary and a special circumstance of committing a murder during the course of a burglary.

Kathy Lee, an executive secretary at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, was shot once in the head on Oct. 18, 1991, in the parking lot of Comp USA when she came to pick up her teen-age son who worked at the store. The Garden Grove woman, a mother of two, had parked and was walking toward the building at about 10:30 p.m. when she apparently surprised the robbers and was shot.

Employees inside the business, including Lee's son who was 18 at the time, had been handcuffed and gagged during the robbery but were not injured.

Moments after the robbery, a passing Fountain Valley police officer arrested Nokkuwa (Pretty Boy) Ervin of Los Angeles. Ervin, the alleged triggerman, was convicted of first-degree murder and other felony charges in November and is awaiting sentencing in Orange County Superior Court. He testified in court that he was not the shooter, and that he was coerced into participating in the robbery by gang members who threatened his life and his family.

Clark's brother, William, also has been charged with murder in the slaying. Authorities further allege that William Clark killed a prime witness to the robbery in Los Angeles County, Pawloski said.

Although Eric Clark did not actually shoot Lee, the prosecution contended he still is responsible for the death under state law.

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