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Dispatch: 'She did not deserve to be beaten … she was a nice gal and she didn’t deserve it'

September 24, 2009 | 12:59 pm

Felicia Tang Lee gardening with her friend Shannon Donnan. Credit: Family photo

Shortly after noon on Friday, Sept. 11, Brian Lee Randone, a 45-year-old white man, called 911 to report that his girlfriend of several months was not breathing.

Authorities found Felicia Tang Lee, a 31-year old Asian woman, dead in the home in the 500 block of West Duarte Road in Monrovia that she shared with Randone.

When responding officers arrived at the scene, they determined the evidence did not support Randone’s account of what happened, said Lt. Liam Gallagher of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Randone was arrested within hours and was charged four days later with killing and torturing Lee. He is in jail in lieu of $2 million bail.

Lee — an actress and model — had been beaten and choked, according to authorities. Prosecutors said torture charges were filed because of the severity of her injures and evidence that she died slowly.

Coroner’s officials said they would not discuss Lee’s specific injuries because they are still waiting for test results. Her official cause of death has been deferred pending those findings.

Randone’s court-appointed attorney did not return calls for comment. He appeared in court Sept. 15, and  his arraignment was continued until Sept. 29. He has not entered a plea.

On paper, at least, the pair seemed an unlikely match.

He was educated as a minister. She had appeared nude in adult films.

According to Randone’s personal website, he traveled the world ministering through a mime performance.

But he’d also worked as an actor and model, representing Nebraska in a 2000 Fox Television show called “America’s Sexiest Bachelor.”

Those who knew the couple said they began dating after meeting in April at a swimming pool at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. At the time of Lee’s death, they had been living together for about four months, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Philip Wojdak.

Lee, who friends said had previously been married, had pursued a career as an actress and model under her maiden name Felicia Tang. She posed nude in adult films and on calendars, appeared in programming on Playboy TV, and worked as a model at car import shows. She also appeared in "The Fast and the Furious," "Rush Hour 2," and "Cradle 2 The Grave," according to a resume posted on her personal website. More recently, friends said, she had been working toward becoming a licensed real estate agent.

Lee was born in Singapore and later attended a Catholic school in Australia, according to a statement released by her family after her death. Later, she moved to Los Angeles with her family and went to school to study marketing and business administration.

Lee’s family declined an interview, but the statement they released read: "Felicia loved life and lived it to its fullest. However, she was more than just a public figure. Felicia was above all a human being, a daughter, a sister, a friend to many who continue to love and honor her, as much in life and in her passing."

Candace Kita, who worked with Lee as a model, called Lee “a bright, bubbly, kind, beautiful woman.”
Kita, author of “The Hottie Handbook: A Girl’s Guide to Safety,” said she objected to the way some in the media have portrayed Lee’s career.

"The perception that she is this porn star makes people think this is a horrible ending to a horrible life," Kita said. "She did not deserve to be beaten.… She was a nice gal and she didn’t deserve it.”

-- Anthony Pesce

Photo: Felicia Tang Lee, left, gardening with her friend Shannon Donnan. Credit: Family photo

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