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Judge blocks accused killer of O.C. doctor from giving away property

April 24, 2013
  • Stanwood Elkus is accused of shooting and killing a doctor in Newport Beach.
Stanwood Elkus is accused of shooting and killing a doctor in Newport Beach. (Orange County Sheriff's…)

An Orange County Superior Court judge has prohibited a man accused of gunning down a doctor from transferring his properties to relatives, according to an attorney for the victim's family.

Stanwood Elkus, 75, of Lake Elsinore, stands accused of killing Ronald Gilbert, 52, of Huntington Harbour, in the doctor's office in Newport Beach in January.

Gilbert's wife of 23 years, Elizabeth Gilbert, and his two sons won a temporary restraining order against Elkus on April 4 after filing a wrongful-death claim and accusing him of defrauding them by attempting to give seven of his eight properties to his sister, according to Edward Susolik, the Gilbert family's attorney.

During a proceeding in Santa Ana, the judge converted the restraining order into a preliminary injunction, freezing the defendant's assets. None of the seven properties — in Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Lake Elsinore and Wildomar — can be sold or given away, Susolik said.

The value of the eight properties in Orange and Riverside counties is about $3 million.

The family's wrongful-death claim, filed March 28, said a nurse took Elkus' vital signs in an examination room and left before Gilbert entered.

When Gilbert's partner entered the room, Elkus said he had shot the doctor, according to the lawsuit.

The suspected assailant stayed in the exam room, where police arrested him and paramedics pronounced Gilbert dead, authorities said at the time.

Elkus pleaded guilty last month to one felony count of murder with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and lying in wait. He is next expected in court for a preliminary hearing June 6.

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