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Authorities say fatal shooting of renowned attorney was a homicide

December 10, 2009 |  1:06 pm

Los Angeles County sheriff's homicides detectives said today that the mysterious shooting death of renowned attorney Jeffrey Tidus was a homicide.

The announcement about the fatal shooting outside Tidus’ Rolling Hills Estates home earlier this week comes the same day as a scheduled autopsy in the investigation.

"The autopsy results did play into that conclusion," said Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Detectives had refused until now to say his death was a homicide, but conceded they never recovered a weapon in the case.

Deputies have scoured the neighborhood for evidence and planned to look at Tidus' cases to see if there might be anything in his legal work related to his death. Investigators have already contacted his legal partner and others who worked with him for cases that could have led to the attack.The 53-year-old attorney with Baute & Tidus, a downtown Los Angeles law firm specializing in civil litigation, was found shot in the head outside his home about 8:30 p.m. Monday. He died at a Torrance hospital Tuesday morning.

Detectives said earlier that if Tidus’ death turned out to be a homicide, it would be doubtful he would have been the victim of a random crime, given that the neighborhood is not a place an opportunist criminal would wander around.

"If this turns out to be a homicide, all indications are he was targeted," Lt. Dave Dolson told The Times Wednesday.

Neighbors said Tidus’ wife told them that he had gone outside to get a laptop computer from his car and didn't return. They said they saw the laptop on the lawn, with blood visible on the driveway.

-- Richard Winton

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Authorities say fatal shooting of renowned attorney was a homicide