Emily Shane’s killer to be released from prison early

Emily Shane.

Shane’s parents call her killer a “ticking time bomb” 

It wasn’t the outcome Michel and Ellen Shane were hoping for. At a California Parole Board hearing Tuesday, their daughter’s killer was set on track for early release. Sina Khankhanian, now 39, could be set free from prison by Christmas, barring an intervention from Governor Gavin Newsom, which the Shanes have called unlikely.

Just a year-and-a-half ago, at another parole hearing, the Shanes were more confident that inmate AL8228, as they refer to him, would at least serve a minimum of 15 years. The board at that time decided Khankhanian would remain behind bars for at least another three years before the surprise change in action Tuesday.

He had been sentenced to 15 years to life behind bars for running down their 13-year-old daughter Emily while she was walking home on Pacific Coast Highway 13 years ago in 2010.

Tuesday’s hearing was the second parole hearing for the killer and unexpected so soon after the last. “Who knows why they brought him up now?” Ellen Shane questioned about this week’s latest action by the California Department of Corrections.

Michel Shane criticized Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon’s progressive policies and said, “He’s in favor of everyone being paroled. Being in Los Angeles County, we are eliminated from finding out anything that goes on with the prisoner.” Ellen Shane added, “His policies are empty the prisons. I can understand if someone has a long record of showing a real genuine desire to rehabilitate themselves over time. It’s easier to follow rules in a controlled environment. When you’re out in society, you have free rein.” 

The Shanes have no access to records on how Khankhanian behaved while incarcerated or if he’s had mental health support. At the hearing, the Shanes learned that Khankhanian may have been on some rehabilitative track, but they are not convinced.

Ellen Shane referred to her child’s killer as “a remorseless murder of a child who could not state in his own words any remorse. He had to read a paper. Is it genuine? Do you mean it?” she questioned. Ellen described a prompted statement the inmate read admitting to things that previously were not brought to light, like the use of medication and going against a doctor’s order to be medicated. “He had deceived his own therapist and family for five years.” 

“He’s been incarcerated 13 years and two months. Emily was alive 13 years,” Michel pointed out.

“We hearing that rapists and murderers are just being let out. They’re just letting them out. These are people who’ve committed heinous crimes,” Ellen said.

Khankhanian is expected to be released back to his family home in Winnetka and live with his father, who made disruptive outbursts in the courtroom when the guilty verdict was read years ago, leading to him being escorted out of the courtroom by police. “His father has anger issues. This is the home he’s returning to,” Ellen commented.

“He’s a great actor,” Michel said. “When he’s in court, he pretended to be autistic and couldn’t comprehend stuff, and then we hear a tape of him on the phone with his girlfriend talking about their plans and how he’ll beat this and go and be back with her. He knows what he’s doing, and he pulled the wool over everybody’s eyes, and he’ll be free.

“The fact that this was the second parole hearing and he hasn’t had any infractions while in prison and the rule of law seems to be leaning in favor of prisoners, what these people seem to diminish, in fact, is he took another life. Not only did he take another life, he took a child’s life who didn’t even have an opportunity to have a life. He’s got a good 30,40 years ahead of him, but I’ll tell you something right now, he will go off the rails, and he will be incarcerated again,” Michel said, and Ellen agreed. “It’s incredibly disappointing, but I’m not surprised,” Ellen added. 

“We’re prepared for this outcome because of the climate here and what’s going on. Whoever’s in his neighborhood, he’s a ticking time bomb. People get angry, and he cannot control his anger, and I don’t think he’s been in long enough and done enough work on himself to control it. When he has free rein in society, I’m afraid for what might happen.”