British national found guilty in drug-fueled Tujunga slaughter [Updated]
A British national was found guilty Tuesday of two counts of murder for stabbing a woman 19 times and decapitating her boyfriend in what a jailhouse informant said was a drug-fueled, paranoid slaughter at a Tujunga condominium.
Jurors deliberated for about a week before returning the guilty verdicts against Neil Revill, 38, a small-time drug dealer, nearly a decade after the October 2001 killings of Arthur Davodian and Kimberly Crayton.
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[For the record at 1:37 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that Revill had been convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. He was was convicted of one count of first-degree murder in Crayton's death and one count of second-degree murder in the slaying of Davodian.]
Revill also was convicted of two counts of transporting controlled substances, but the jury deadlocked on a fifth charge of assault with a deadly weapon for an unrelated incident in which he was accused of threatening someone with a knife.
In the six-week trial, jurors heard from a jailhouse informant who testified that Revill confessed to him the grisly details of the killings in L.A. County Jail.
Prosecutors said the account was backed up by forensic DNA evidence, including a spot of Revill’s blood on the Crayton's 14-month-old daughter, who was at the scene but unharmed.
Revill appeared calm as he awaited the verdicts, nodding as jurors filed into their seats.
Emotions ran high among families in the audience. Davodian’s brother chewed on a bottle cap until it became a warped, unrecognizable piece of plastic. Another relative shredded the edges of a taped paper sign prohibiting cellphones in the courtroom.
“Justice has been served,” said Leontina, Davodian’s mother, as she left the courthouse.
“But it still doesn’t bring him back,” his sister Arlin said.
Revill’s attorney, Michael Crain, said outside court that he was disappointed by the verdict, and that he continued to believe his client was not responsible for the killings.
“There was a great deal of forensic evidence that someone else perpetrated this crime,” Crain said, citing DNA of an unknown male also found at the scene.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Phillip Stirling said the prosecution had successfully shown to jurors the unknown genetic material was “background DNA” that predated the murders.
“There’s no evidence anyone else was involved in the crime,” he said.
Revill is scheduled to be sentenced April 22. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
-- Victoria Kim