Santa Ana (US), September 19
A former Southern California lawyer was sentenced on Friday to life with out the opportunity of parole for strangling his ex-wife and throwing her physique off a cruise ship within the Mediterranean in 2006.
Lonnie Loren Kocontes, 62, of Safety Harbor, Florida, was convicted in June of first-degree homicide with a particular circumstances enhancement of homicide for monetary achieve.
Prosecutors stated Kocontes killed Micki Kanesaki to be able to inherit greater than USD 1 million from their financial institution accounts and the sale of a Southern California residence they collectively owned.
Kocontes “almost got away with murder,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer stated in a press release after the sentencing.
“Except for the truth that he strangled her to loss of life earlier than he threw her physique overboard.
Because she died earlier than she hit the water her lungs had been stuffed with air, not water.
So she floated. And by a miracle, her physique was found. That miscalculation allowed us to convict him of homicide,” Spitzer stated.
Kocontes was divorced from Kanesaki, had remarried after which divorced once more when he booked the Mediterranean cruise.
Kocontes testified at trial that the couple had reconciled and had been planning to remarry.
But Kocontes truly was scheming to kill Kanesaki, 52, and make it seem like an accident, prosecutors stated.
The cruise from Spain to Italy started on May 21, 2006, and Kanesaki was final seen alive the night time of May 25, authorities stated.
Kocontes reported Kanesaki lacking and returned to California.
Her physique was discovered floating off the coast of Paola, Italy, on May 27, prosecutors stated.
At trial, Kocontes stated he had taken a sleeping tablet on the ship and woke to seek out Kanesaki lacking.
An FBI investigation into attainable criminality started in 2008 after Kocontes tried to switch USD 1 million between varied financial institution accounts, based on the US lawyer’s workplace. Kocontes was indicted for homicide in 2013 and has been jailed since then. — AP