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Man guilty in Beverly Hills stabbing of filmmaker's son

October 2, 2012 |  5:07 pm

A 25-year-old man has been found guilty of fatally stabbing the son of a Japanese filmmaker in a Beverly Hills carport in 2010, a crime that prosecutors allege was fueled by the man’s belief that the victim had forced his girlfriend into prostitution and pornography shoots.

Scott Barker was also convicted Tuesday of two sentencing enhancements – lying in wait and using a knife in the commission of a crime. He faces life in prison.

In closing arguments Monday, prosecutors portrayed Barker as a coward who waited in a Beverly Hills carport dressed in a black ninja-like outfit before stabbing Katsutoshi “Tony” Takazato 58 times with a kitchen knife, the final wound puncturing his heart.

The Los Angeles County district attorney alleged that Barker was driven to murder after learning that Takazato was leaning on Chie Coggins-Johnson to do porn shoots and engage in prostitution to pay off his debts. Coggins-Johnson, who had earlier dated Takazato, was Barker’s girlfriend at the time.

Coggins-Johnson originally faced murder charges but pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and was given five years' probation in exchange for her testimony.

Bradley Brunon, Barker's attorney, depicted the woman as a liar who would say anything to get out of a tight spot.

Coggins-Johnson testified that Barker -- dressed in all-black clothing -- dragged her out of bed and made her drive him to Takazato’s home in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood.

Once there, she said, they scaled a fence and she knocked on his window before speaking to Takazato briefly at his front door. Later, she said, she heard two men arguing and recalled a shirtless Barker climbing into the car.

They then drove to Malibu, where he washed his blood-soaked clothing before hiking down a hillside to dump the clothes and bloodied car mats, she testified.

Authorities later found the items, with her help.

Although forensic analysts found traces of Barker’s DNA on the clothing, Brunon argued that Coggins-Johnson would have had access to his client’s clothing.

In addition, he said Barker’s DNA was not found at the crime scene.


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-- Adolfo Flores