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Tauno Waidla

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 1991 | JULIO MORAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Estonian refugee, on trial in the killing of a North Hollywood woman who had befriended him, repeatedly stabbed her and later struck her on the head with a hatchet "just to make sure" she was dead, a prosecutor said Monday. Peter Sakarias, 24, is charged with murder in the July, 1988, slaying of Viivi Piirisild, 52, with the special circumstance that the killing occurred during the burglary of her home. He may face the death penalty if convicted.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 1991 | JULIO MORAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Soviet army defector who said he survived a hail of bullets as he escaped from East Germany was sentenced to death by a San Fernando Superior Court jury Monday for the brutal murder of a North Hollywood woman who had befriended him. Judge Howard J. Schwab will impose the sentence on Peter Sakarias, 24, on Dec. 5. In a taped confession, Sakarias said he and his accomplice, Tauno Waidla, 23, killed Viivi Piirisild, 52, because they blamed her for their economic problems.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1991 | JULIO MORAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Soviet Army defector who was once hailed as a hero for escaping from East Germany was convicted Monday of killing a North Hollywood woman who had befriended him. A San Fernando Superior Court jury, which deliberated four days before reaching a verdict, must now decide whether to recommend life in prison or death in the gas chamber for Peter Sakarias, 24.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1991 | JULIO MORAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Soviet Army defector who was once hailed as a hero for escaping from East Germany was convicted Monday of killing a North Hollywood woman who had befriended him. A San Fernando Superior Court jury, which deliberated four days before reaching a verdict, must now decide whether to recommend life in prison or death in the gas chamber for Peter Sakarias, 24.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 1991 | JULIO MORAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Soviet army defector who said he survived a hail of bullets as he escaped from East Germany was sentenced to death by a San Fernando Superior Court jury Monday for the brutal murder of a North Hollywood woman who had befriended him. Judge Howard J. Schwab will impose the sentence on Peter Sakarias, 24, on Dec. 5. In a taped confession, Sakarias said he and his accomplice, Tauno Waidla, 23, killed Viivi Piirisild, 52, because they blamed her for their economic problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 1991 | JULIO MORAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Estonian refugee and his alleged accomplice had planned to kill themselves because they were hungry and broke after the Estonian community abandoned them, but they decided to kill a North Hollywood woman they blamed for their problems first so she could not laugh at their deaths. The admission came in a taped confession played Tuesday for a San Fernando Superior Court jury in the murder trial of Peter Sakarias, 24.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 1991 | AMY LOUISE KAZMIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Estonian man who was hailed as a hero after he deserted the Soviet Army and defected to the West was sentenced Friday morning to die in the gas chamber for murdering an Estonian activist who took him into her North Hollywood home. Tauno Waidla, 23, was convicted in December of the beating and stabbing death of Viivi Piirisild, 52, a leader of Los Angeles' Estonian emigre community.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 1988 | MICHAEL CONNELLY, Times Staff Writer
In a midnight quest for freedom, Peter Sakarias and Tauno Waidla deserted the Soviet army and crossed the Iron Curtain in 1986, eluding capture, they said, by hiding in a ditch and then dashing across the West German border. The youth and daring of the two Estonian refugees, both 19, made them heroes in the hearts and minds of countrymen in the United States. Estonian-Americans from New York to Los Angeles welcomed them with open homes and wallets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 1990
Jury selection began Tuesday in the murder trial of an Estonian refugee accused of beating and stabbing to death activist Viivi Piirisild in her North Hollywood house in July, 1988. Prosecutors said the selection process in the case against Tauno Waidla should take about two weeks, after which attorneys will begin to present evidence. Waidla, who faces the death penalty if convicted, admitted the killing to police a month after it was committed, according to court documents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 1991 | AARON CURTISS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The jury that convicted Soviet army deserter Tauno Waidla last month of killing an Estonian activist who took him into her North Hollywood home was asked Wednesday for its recommendation on whether Waidla should be sent to the gas chamber. Final arguments from the prosecutor and Waidla's attorney during the penalty phase of the trial lasted a little more than an hour. "Tauno Waidla will die in prison," his attorney, Martin R. Gladstein, told the jury.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 1991 | JULIO MORAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Estonian refugee and his alleged accomplice had planned to kill themselves because they were hungry and broke after the Estonian community abandoned them, but they decided to kill a North Hollywood woman they blamed for their problems first so she could not laugh at their deaths. The admission came in a taped confession played Tuesday for a San Fernando Superior Court jury in the murder trial of Peter Sakarias, 24.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 1991 | JULIO MORAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Estonian refugee, on trial in the killing of a North Hollywood woman who had befriended him, repeatedly stabbed her and later struck her on the head with a hatchet "just to make sure" she was dead, a prosecutor said Monday. Peter Sakarias, 24, is charged with murder in the July, 1988, slaying of Viivi Piirisild, 52, with the special circumstance that the killing occurred during the burglary of her home. He may face the death penalty if convicted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 1991 | AMY LOUISE KAZMIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Estonian man who was hailed as a hero after he deserted the Soviet Army and defected to the West was sentenced Friday morning to die in the gas chamber for murdering an Estonian activist who took him into her North Hollywood home. Tauno Waidla, 23, was convicted in December of the beating and stabbing death of Viivi Piirisild, 52, a leader of Los Angeles' Estonian emigre community.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 1988 | MICHAEL CONNELLY, Times Staff Writer
In a midnight quest for freedom, Peter Sakarias and Tauno Waidla deserted the Soviet army and crossed the Iron Curtain in 1986, eluding capture, they said, by hiding in a ditch and then dashing across the West German border. The youth and daring of the two Estonian refugees, both 19, made them heroes in the hearts and minds of countrymen in the United States. Estonian-Americans from New York to Los Angeles welcomed them with open homes and wallets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 1990
One of two Soviet army deserters charged with killing a North Hollywood woman was ordered Wednesday to undergo a mental examination after a psychiatrist testified the defendant could not assist in his defense. San Fernando Superior Court Judge Howard J. Schwab ordered Peter Sakarias, 23, transferred to a state mental hospital for a three-month evaluation. Psychiatrists must tell the court on Aug. 15 whether the man is mentally competent to stand trial.
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