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Confessor to 1987 Murder Is Sentenced

September 06, 2006|Sara Lin | Times Staff Writer

A man who would have gotten away with murder if he had not confessed 18 years later to killing a Huntington Beach woman was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years to life in prison.

Louis Bostich, 45, admitted last year to police that he had fatally stabbed Jami J. Vitteli in 1987 after meeting her in a bar. Bostich said he had turned himself in after years of battling alcoholism and agonizing over what he had done.

"We had absolutely no leads, zero leads on him," said Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Ebrahim Baytieh. "He would have died a free man if he didn't come forward."

In the early hours of May 28, 1987, Bostich, a 26-year-old Navy electrician finishing a night of drinking, met Vitteli at Perqs on Main Street in Huntington Beach. The 26-year-old artist invited him to her apartment.

Bostich told police that after taking methamphetamine, he smashed a champagne bottle over Vitteli's head and then killed her. Then he fled.

Alternate Public Defender Derek J. Bercher said his client spent years grappling with what he had done. Bostich had lived a crime-free life, working for Southern California Edison and at a sawmill in Forks, Wash., Bercher said.

Bostich pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced by O.C. Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno.

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sara.lin@latimes.com

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