Jury to decide in Shane case


A jury began deliberations Tuesday afternoon in the re-trial for the man charged with murder in the 2010 death of Malibu 8th-grader Emily Shane.

By Knowles Adkisson / Associate Editor

Closing statements were held Tuesday in the re-trial for Sina Khankhanian, the 28-year-old man charged with second-degree murder in the 2010 death of 13-year-old Emily Shane. The jury began deliberations late Tuesday afternoon before recessing for the day. Deliberations were scheduled to begin again Wednesday morning, after this paper went to print. For updates on the case, visit malibutimes.com.

The first trial for Khankhanian ended in a hung jury in February after the jury could not agree on a charge.

The second trial began May 2. Khankhanian, of Winnetka, is charged with second-degree murder for striking and killing Malibu eighth-grader Emily Shane in his car in April 2010 as she walked along Pacific Coast Highway near Heathercliff Road.

Multiple witnesses testified in the first trial to Khankhanian’s reckless driving in a 17-mile stretch that began at the top of Topanga Canyon Blvd. and ended when he struck Shane. Khankhanian had left a suicide note at his house before getting in his car, and prosecutors have maintained that he intended to kill himself by crashing the car but struck Emily instead.

Two days into the new trial, a firefighter on Friday gave what appears to be new testimony that a profane and frustrated Khankhanian said after the accident that he intended to strike the 13-year-old Shane as she walked along Pacific Coast Highway near Heathercliff Road.

The prosecution also played taped telephone conversations of Khankhanian speaking to his former fianc/e from jail, discussing the case and how she could testify in an emotional way.

Defense attorney Bradley Brunon has argued that because Khankhanian suffers from both autism and Tourette syndrome, he was unaware of the danger his reckless driving placed others in.

The distinction between second-degree murder and a lesser charge, such as vehicular manslaughter, is whether Khankhanian knew the danger his actions placed others in but decided to do them anyway.

If convicted of the murder charge, Khankhanian faces a sentence of 15 years in a state prison.

Brunon says Khankhanian is guilty of vehicular manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.