Man charged in death of Malibu teen

A Malibu teen and a Santa Monica resident are killed on Pacific Coast Highway in two separate accidents just 24 hours and four miles apart.

By Olivia Damavandi / Assistant Editor

The driver who struck and killed a Malibu High School teen on Saturday while she was walking on Pacific Coast Highway was charged with one count of murder Tuesday.

Sina Khankhanian, 26, of Winnetka, pleaded not guilty in connection with 13-year-old Emily Rose Shane’s death. Judge Keith L. Schwartz ordered Khankhanian jailed on the $3 million bail recommended by the prosecution. He is expected to appear at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles on May 6 for the scheduling of a preliminary hearing.

The complaint alleged he used a deadly weapon, an automobile, to commit the crime, according to a press release by the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

Detectives said Shane was walking home from a friend’s house at 5:11 p.m. along the 29000 block of Pacific Coast Highway near Heathercliff Road when Khankhanian, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer, hit her. Investigators believe Khankhanian may have intentionally crashed his car into a power pole, causing it to overturn and hit Shane. But they do not believe he intended to hit her.

The investigation, which has been assigned to homicide detectives, will be ongoing. Detectives could not be reached for further comment.

The Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s assistance in investigating this case. They are asking that witnesses who observed the accident and can give a description of the vehicle’s behavior to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau at 323.890.5500. The car was a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer blue four-door with the personalized license plate “JOOGEE.”

A funeral for Shane was scheduled to take place this week Wednesday at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park in Simi Valley at 2 p.m., followed by a memorial at Malibu West Beach Club that same day.

“[Shane] was a happy girl who loved to laugh,” her family said Tuesday in a written statement. “She saw the good in everyone. Her classmates have holes in their hearts.

“Emily touched everyone’s life and made it a point to say something nice about her friends everyday,” the statement continued. “Her friends have vowed to carry on with a ‘pay it forward’ campaign. Emily will be deeply missed by her parents, Ellen and Michel Shane, forever.”

The day before Shane’s death, 43-year-old Santa Monica resident James Stellar was killed at the intersection of Broad Beach Road and Pacific Coast Highway at 4:16 p.m.

Stellar’s car was struck by a vehicle that had drifted onto the wrong side of the highway when its driver dozed off, Lt. Scott Chew said in a report issued by the Santa Monica Daily Press.

Oxnard resident David Corona, 19, told deputies in the report that he fell asleep at the wheel late Friday afternoon. His car drifted across the center lines and was going west in the eastbound lanes when it broadsided Stellar’s car as he attempted a left turn from westbound PCH onto Broad Beach Road, Lt. Andrew Rosso of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station said in a written statement.

Stellar was pronounced dead when deputies arrived on the scene. Corona was treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries, Rosso said.

The collision is under investigation by Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station officials, who did not have any further information. As of Tuesday, investigators had not decided yet if charges will be filed.

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