Saturday, October 10, 2009

Attorney sentenced to 40 to life in shooting murder of "girlfriend"

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley sentenced a former attorney to 40 years to life for the shooting death of his "girlfriend" yesterday.

David Mahler, 45, fatally shot Kristin Baldwin, 38, on May 27, 2007. He was convicted Sept. 15 of second-degree murder, with jurors finding true an allegation that he personally discharged a firearm.

During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace told jurors that Mahler was "in a rage'' when he shot Baldwin during an argument.The two had argued several days earlier, the prosecutor said. The woman's badly decomposed body was discovered on June 17, 2007, in the desert near Barstow by some people who had stopped to help a stranded motorist.

Jurors also convicted Mahler of assault with a firearm on a man who was his then-roommate, and the judge tacked on an additional three-year prison term on the assault charge.

Mahler stated to the victim's relatives, "I want to say to the family that I'm sorry this happened,'' Mahler told Baldwin's relatives. "I am extraordinarily regretful ... It doesn't bring her back."

The victim's sister, Robin Henson, who believed that Mahler's show of remorse was insincere, said, pointing to an urn containing her sister's ashes, stating,

"This is my sister, Kristin. My family's life has been completely turned around to a point of pain and suffering because my sister is gone,'' Henson said. "A person that can do this needs to go to prison for a very long time ... I love my sister and I miss her and I want her back."

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