A Sept. 8 motion hearing has been set for the man charged with killing 13-year-old Emily Shane last April. Sina Khankhanian, the 27-year-old man charged with second-degree murder in Shane’s death, faced a pretrial conference Thursday morning at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles. Bradley Brunon, Khankhanian’s attorney, told The Malibu Times Thursday he expected a trial date to be set within ten days after the hearing.
Khankhanian has pled not guilty to the charge of murder in the death of Shane. The pretrial conference has been postponed multiple times while the prosecution and defense review psychological testing performed on Khankhanian.
Shane died on April 3 last year, when Khankhanian allegedly drove his car off Pacific Coast Highway, hitting her as she walked home from a friend’s house. Superior Court judge Kathryn Solorzano told Khankhanian at a preliminary hearing in January that he exhibited a “wantonness and conscious disregard for life” in the hours leading up to Shane’s death.
Khankhanian’s girlfriend Mardi Martinez testified at the January hearing that he had expressed suicidal thoughts as early as 10 days before the crash. On April 3, Khankhanian left a two-page suicide note at the house he shared with Martinez, along with a check and a letter indicating he wanted to leave his finances to Martinez. He then drove off in his blue 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer, allegedly with the intent to end his life by crashing the car.
Several witnesses testified to Khankhanian’s reckless driving on a 17-mile stretch that included Topanga Canyon Boulevard, then north on Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu until the accident near the intersection with Heathercliff Road, where, in addition to striking Shane, the car collided with a power pole.
Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who arrived after the accident testified in a pretrial hearing in January that Khankhanian’s behavior at the crime scene was confrontational and profane. He told several law enforcement officers that he “meant to do it,” referencing hitting the power pole on purpose. Witnesses also testified that Khankhanian expressed no remorse upon learning the girl had been killed in the crash.
He told Fire Capt. Todd Christie that he had four glasses of wine, as well as four pills each of the prescription medications Klonopin and Ativan, which he said were prescribed to his girlfriend Martinez. Klonopin is used to treat seizure disorders or panic disorder. Ativan is used to treat anxiety or anxiety caused by severe depression. A paramedic who treated Khankhanian testified that Khankhanian said he also took Valium, which is used to treat anxiety disorders. Christie said he did not smell alcohol on Khankhanian’s breath.