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Man Convicted of Murder for Woman's Stabbing

Court: He was also found guilty of torturing his victim, an acquaintance, and could be sentenced to life in prison.

March 25, 1999|EVELYN LARRUBIA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VAN NUYS — A 21-year-old man who stabbed a female acquaintance 100 times in her Van Nuys apartment was convicted Wednesday of torture murder, which could send him to prison for life.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Jeffrey Boxer said he suspects Travis Bone sneaked into Cindy Fry's house and killed her after a failed rape attempt, but said he could not prove it.

Bone, who was living in Sherman Oaks in September 1997 when the attack took place, was dating the sister of Fry's boyfriend.

Upon returning home from a trip with his family, Fry's boyfriend found her dead. Wearing only panties, she was lying face-down in a wrecked, blood-covered living room, Boxer said. Investigators found Bone's finger-, hand- and shoe prints in and around Fry's house in the 6200 block of Mary Ellen Street.

Bone first denied any involvement, but later admitted he had gone to the woman's home in the middle of the night and stabbed her. He claimed he did so in self-defense, after they got into an argument and she came at him with a kitchen knife.

Boxer said a coroner testified that Fry was alive when the defendant stabbed her about 100 times in both the front and back. The fatal wounds were administered to her neck.

Boxer said Bone's lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Dennis Cohen, argued to the Van Nuys jury that his client was guilty not of murder, but of the lesser crime of manslaughter because he thought his life was at risk, even though that fear was unreasonable.

The jury convicted him of first-degree murder and found true the special circumstance of torture. Because prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty, Bone faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole at a sentencing hearing next month.

"This is the part of my job that I like," Boxer said, "when I can say I made society a little safer."

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