Friday, October 10, 2014

Murder LA 000059

Dustin James Kinnear, the last of the three transients who stabbed Christine Calderon on Hollywood Blvd last year, should face sentencing today, October 10th, after pleading no contest to involuntary manslaughter last week. No contest means the defendant won't challenge the charges. It's effectively the same as pleading guilty but without admitting fault, so that a defendant can still contest if, say, the family of Calderon filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him down the line.

Dustin "Red" Kinnear, center
via LA Times
The other two homeless men, who likewise pleaded no contest earlier this year, were sentenced to two years each for lesser charges than Kinnear faced; he's the one who actually stabbed Calderon for refusing to give him a dollar after she snapped a photo of his obscenity-laced sign. The others were involved in the physical altercation but claimed not to have even known Calderon, who fled the scene with her friend, was stabbed until they later encountered Kinnear at McDonald's and he told them.

More information came out during the trial, including that Calderon and her co-worker friend, Robert Harden, had met up in the early afternoon for a drink and then visited the Grove before finding themselves in Hollywood that Tuesday evening. Harden also did not notice Calderon had been stabbed until after they left the scene. Police were able to quickly find the suspects based on the photos Calderon and Harden had taken of them.

According to CBS, Kinnear had previously been arrested some 46 times, including seven times for assault with a deadly weapon. California doesn't consider that a violent crime, though, and Kinnear was apparently released early based on realignment.

Christine Calderon
via NY Daily News