A man was found guilty of murder Thursday in the death of a Malibu eighth grader.
Sina Khankhanian was convicted of second-degree murder and a sentence enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon in the April 2010 death of Emily Shane on Pacific Coast Highway and Heathercliff Road in Malibu. The jury deliberated for nearly two days following a 13-day trial.
This was the second trial for Khankhanian, who will be sentenced on June 15, when he will face up to 16 years to life in prison. In the first trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
As the verdict was read, a friend or family member of the Khankhanians yelled an expletive and flipped off the courtroom as he was escorted out by deputies. Khankhanian, whose mother burst into tears, sat staring straight ahead and showed no emotion.
The Shane family, who was caught up in traffic, walked into the courtroom as the verdict was read and rushed to their seats, hugging friends afterwards.
Michel Shane and other members of the family said they felt relief.
"After two years of waiting and having to go through this twice with two trials, to finally have it come to an end is almost surreal," Michel Shane said.
His wife, Ellen, added that it does bring justice for Emily and she would have been okay with whatever happened.
"I'm especially happy there was justice served for Emily," Ellen Shane said.
Her daughter, Leigh, agreed and said the family can now move on in the grieving process.
Deputy District Attorney Marna Miller said the trial was difficult.
“I think that definitely justice has been served not only for the family, but for Emily,” Miller said.
Miller, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Keri Modder, said that she believes between the defendant and his girlfriend allowed the jury to hear his voice, which contrasted with his demeanor in court. During most of the trial, Khankhanian sat staring straight ahead and only smiled occasionally at family members, who sat behind him.
“I think the jury saw the truth,” Miller said, who also believes that a strong rebuttal argument by Modder helped the jury see the evidence clearly.
Defense attorney Bradley Brunon said that he was disappointed in the verdict.
"I think its puts a tragedy on top of a tragedy. It just compounds it," Brunon said, adding that he will file an appeal.
Khankhanian, who had left a suicide note at his home, is accused of striking Emily with his sports car as he swerved off Pacific Coast Highway and struck a pole. Emily died at the scene.
Brunon has asserted that Khankhanian, who was diagnosed with autism, could not appreciate that his actions created a risk of death for himself and others.
Burnon maintained throughout the trial that his client did not commit murder, and has said previously that a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter is more appropriate to the case.