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Malibu driver convicted of second-degree murder in girl's death

May 18, 2012 | 12:06 pm

Emily Shane
A driver who killed a 13-year-old Malibu girl two years ago when he ran off Pacific Coast Highway was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder.

Sina Khankhanian, 28, was charged in the April 3, 2010, death of Emily Shane, a local eighth-grader. She was walking on the shoulder of the highway from a friend's house to meet her father at the shopping center on Heathercliff Road when Khankhanian hit her.

Authorities said Khankhanian's reckless driving prompted several 911 calls before he ran off the road. He had left what appeared to be a suicide note at his home before he got behind the wheel.

Emily's mother, Ellen Shane, said in an email, "It is a relief to our family that justice has been served & that Emily's killer will have to pay for his crime."

Khankhanian's attorney, Bradley Brunon, said his client may have been driving recklessly but did not intend to drive off the road or to hit the teen.

"I'm disappointed at the outcome, and what it does is just add another tragic layer to an already tragic situation," he said.

The trial was the second one for Khankhanian. The first trial ended with a hung jury.

Since Emily's death, the Shane family has started a foundation in her honor and set up a website where visitors are encouraged to do good deeds and then write about them.


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Photo: A memorial in 2010 for Emily Shane, 13, who was killed on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.