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Former Strip Club Exec Gets 20 Years in Slaying

Crime: David Amos is sentenced for his role in the 1989 killing in Brea of an ex-CHP officer.

November 17, 2001|STUART PFEIFER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former strip club executive was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday for his role in the 1989 slaying of a former CHP officer in Orange County.

David Amos admitted during testimony last summer that he was paid $50,000 for finding a hit man to kill burly ex-CHP officer Horace "Big Mac" McKenna. His testimony helped lead to the conviction of Michael Woods, who authorities say was fighting with McKenna over a string of Los Angeles strip clubs.

In exchange for his testimony, prosecutors allowed Amos to plead guilty Friday to manslaughter and avoid a possible life sentence. Woods, like McKenna, was a retired CHP officer.

McKenna was shot to death as he arrived at his Brea estate in a chauffeured limousine. The alleged hit man, John Sheridan, was also sentenced to 20 years in prison after cooperating with investigators.

The 1989 killing remained unsolved until last year, when a longtime police informant told investigators with the Orange County district attorney's office that he committed the crime--at the request of Woods.

Organized crime investigators went undercover for nearly a year before making arrests.

McKenna--a 300-pound bodybuilder--died after being hit by machine-gun fire as he sat in a chauffeured limousine outside his estate, which housed a menagerie of exotic animals.

Prosecutors charged that Woods had grown tired of being bullied by his flamboyant business partner and asked Amos to arrange McKenna's murder.

Sheridan in September received a 20-year prison sentence in exchange for cooperating with an investigation.

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