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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 1991
A Hare Krishna devotee convicted of murder in the 1986 slaying of a sect dissident was sentenced Wednesday in a Los Angeles court to life in prison without possibility of parole. Thomas A. Drescher's sentence was imposed by Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg, who followed a jury recommendation that Drescher be imprisoned instead of executed. Drescher, 42, was convicted of murder for financial gain, which made him eligible for death in the gas chamber.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 1991
A Hare Krishna devotee convicted of murder in the 1986 slaying of a sect dissident was sentenced Wednesday in a Los Angeles court to life in prison without possibility of parole. Thomas A. Drescher's sentence was imposed by Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg, who followed a jury recommendation that Drescher be imprisoned instead of executed. Drescher, 42, was convicted of murder for financial gain, which made him eligible for death in the gas chamber.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 1990 | DAVID FERRELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Among the spiritual leaders of Hare Krishna, embittered former member Stephen Bryant was considered a dangerous man. Outfitted with a rifle, a computer and a small bed, the 33-year-old Bryant traveled the country in his van, writing and preaching attacks on the Hindu religious sect. It was feared that the zealous Bryant might harm, even kill, the swamis who ran Hare Krishna temples in Moundsville, W. Va., and West Los Angeles. But late one night in 1986, death ended Bryant's crusade.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 1991 | Associated Press
A Hare Krishna devotee who was convicted of murder in the 1986 slaying of a sect dissident should be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, a jury recommended Thursday in Los Angeles. The recommendation means that Thomas A. Drescher, 42, escapes the death penalty, which had been sought by prosecutors. Drescher was convicted of murder for financial gain, making him eligible for death in the gas chamber. Sentencing is set for Nov. 8.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 1991 | Associated Press
A Hare Krishna devotee who was convicted of murder in the 1986 slaying of a sect dissident should be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, a jury recommended Thursday in Los Angeles. The recommendation means that Thomas A. Drescher, 42, escapes the death penalty, which had been sought by prosecutors. Drescher was convicted of murder for financial gain, making him eligible for death in the gas chamber. Sentencing is set for Nov. 8.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 1991 | SHAWN HUBLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A lifelong member of the Hare Krishna sect was found guilty of murder for hire Tuesday, five years after a dissident member of the group was slain execution-style near a Krishna palace in Palms. Thomas Drescher--who until his arrest had gone by the name of Tirtha Swami--sat impassively as the jury of six men and six women pronounced him guilty of first-degree murder charge and a special circumstance. The verdict makes him subject to the death penalty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 1987 | THOMAS FERRARO, United Press International
One of the newest swamis in the Hare Krishna religion is a convicted killer and drug dealer charged with the suspected murder-for-hire of an excommunicated member of the India-based sect. The swami, Thomas Drescher, No. 150196 at the West Virginia State Penitentiary, denies slaying anyone and says, "My business, my mission, is to preach."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 1991 | MICHAEL CONNELLY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A mistrial was declared Thursday in the murder case against an alleged hit man for a Hare Krishna sect after a Van Nuys Superior Court jury deadlocked, 8 to 4, in favor of acquittal. Thomas A. Drescher, 42, was charged with fatally shooting Stephen Bryant, 33, on May 22, 1986, while Bryant sat in a van parked near a Hare Krishna temple in West Los Angeles. Bryant was an embittered former member of the Hindu sect who traveled the country in his van writing and preaching against the organization.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 1988 | EDWIN CHEN, Times Staff Writer
A Hare Krishna devotee, already serving a life-without-parole prison sentence in West Virginia for the murder of a fellow sect member, was charged Friday with the 1986 Los Angeles murder of a former Krishna member who had turned into a vociferous critic of the religious sect. Thomas A. Drescher, who was extradited to California on Thursday, pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles Municipal Court in the death of Stephen L.
NEWS
August 14, 1987
A member of the Hare Krishna religious group was ordered extradited from West Virginia to California to stand trial for the murder-for-hire of a former member of the sect. Circuit Judge Steven Narick granted the motion following a hearing but said that Thomas Drescher would be permitted to remain in the West Virginia Penitentiary until Sept. 4 to allow him to appeal his extradition to the West Virginia Supreme Court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 1991 | SHAWN HUBLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A lifelong member of the Hare Krishna sect was found guilty of murder for hire Tuesday, five years after a dissident member of the group was slain execution-style near a Krishna palace in Palms. Thomas Drescher--who until his arrest had gone by the name of Tirtha Swami--sat impassively as the jury of six men and six women pronounced him guilty of first-degree murder charge and a special circumstance. The verdict makes him subject to the death penalty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 1991 | MICHAEL CONNELLY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A mistrial was declared Thursday in the murder case against an alleged hit man for a Hare Krishna sect after a Van Nuys Superior Court jury deadlocked, 8 to 4, in favor of acquittal. Thomas A. Drescher, 42, was charged with fatally shooting Stephen Bryant, 33, on May 22, 1986, while Bryant sat in a van parked near a Hare Krishna temple in West Los Angeles. Bryant was an embittered former member of the Hindu sect who traveled the country in his van writing and preaching against the organization.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 1990 | DAVID FERRELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Among the spiritual leaders of Hare Krishna, embittered former member Stephen Bryant was considered a dangerous man. Outfitted with a rifle, a computer and a small bed, the 33-year-old Bryant traveled the country in his van, writing and preaching attacks on the Hindu religious sect. It was feared that the zealous Bryant might harm, even kill, the swamis who ran Hare Krishna temples in Moundsville, W. Va., and West Los Angeles. But late one night in 1986, death ended Bryant's crusade.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 1988 | EDWIN CHEN, Times Staff Writer
A Hare Krishna devotee, already serving a life-without-parole prison sentence in West Virginia for the murder of a fellow sect member, was charged Friday with the 1986 Los Angeles murder of a former Krishna member who had turned into a vociferous critic of the religious sect. Thomas A. Drescher, who was extradited to California on Thursday, pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles Municipal Court in the death of Stephen L.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 1987 | THOMAS FERRARO, United Press International
One of the newest swamis in the Hare Krishna religion is a convicted killer and drug dealer charged with the suspected murder-for-hire of an excommunicated member of the India-based sect. The swami, Thomas Drescher, No. 150196 at the West Virginia State Penitentiary, denies slaying anyone and says, "My business, my mission, is to preach."
NEWS
December 15, 1987 | Associated Press
A federal jury found the leader of the nation's largest Hare Krishna community innocent of arson and fraud charges today but convicted a follower of burning an apartment building in a scheme to collect $40,000 in insurance. The 11-woman, one-man U.S. District Court jury deliberated about three hours over two days before clearing Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada of conspiracy, arson and mail-fraud charges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 1986 | From Times staff and and wire service reports
A state judge in Moundsville, W.Va., has granted a request for a change of venue in the case of a Hare Krishna devotee from Los Angeles accused in the 1983 murder of another member of the religious group. The Marshall County prosecutor's office did not resist the motion approved this week by Marshall Circuit Judge Richard Warmuth to hold the trial for Daniel Reid in another county because of potentially adverse publicity. Reid was returned to West Virginia from Los Angeles last week.
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