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Shacknai accepts state's refusal to review Coronado deaths

September 22, 2011 |  1:05 pm

Coronado house1

Jonah Shacknai said Thursday he accepts the decision of the state attorney general to reject his request to review the investigation of San Diego County law enforcement agencies into the deaths of his girlfriend and his 6-year-old son.

And he asked that if anyone, "at any time," finds new evidence in the case, it should be turned over to law enforcement rather than the media.

In a prepared statement, Shacknai said he understands that "the circumstances of this investigation do not warrant further review by the attorney general at this time."

In a letter sent to Shacknai on Wednesday, the chief assistant attorney general said such a review of local law enforcement is only warranted "under very narrow circumstances," including a conflict of interest or allegations of malfeasance.

Shacknai, a pharmaceutical industry executive, had requested the attorney general review to help "bring dignity and closure" for both his family and that of Rebecca Zahau, his girlfriend of two years.

The San Diego County medical examiner, backed by the Coronado Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, concluded that Max Shacknai died of injuries from an accidental fall and that Zahau committed suicide.

"Given the unusual facts of this case, I understand that Rebecca's family and others continue to have questions," Shacknai said in the statement.

But, he added, if "there is new substantive evidence bearing on this case, it should be presented, not in tabloid form to fuel rumor and innuendo, but rather to appropriate law enforcement authorities."

Zahau, 32, was found July 13 hanging from a second-story balcony at the Shacknai home, the former Spreckels mansion in Coronado. She was nude and her hands and feet had been tied.

Max Shacknai died July 16 of injuries incurred in a fall at the mansion on July 11.

Shacknai has consistently said he trusts the conclusions from law enforcement about the deaths.


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Photo: Jonah Shacknai's Coronado home. Credit: Mike Blake / Reuters