With the whole crew gathered around a computer monitor, we just watched Superior Court Judge John Einhorn read a guilty verdict for most of the charges against Seth Cravens, including 2nd degree murder, after he killed Emery Kauanui in a fight outside of Kauanui’s house in the upscale neighborhood of La Jolla, California. After the verdict was read, Cravens, who was shaking his head, muttered “I’m not ready to go” but was nonetheless handcuffed by bailiffs and led back to jail where he will await sentencing scheduled for January 12, 2009.
The guilty verdict brings to an end the sensational and emotional trial that began when Cravens and his crew—the Bird Rock Bandits—confronted Emery Kauanui outside of his house after a previous altercation at a nearby bar. The Bird Rock Bandits were also accused of many other acts of violence prior to the killing of Kauanui including battery and assault. Read the article below for more info…
As reported on www.signonsandiego.com
SAN DIEGO – A San Diego Superior Court jury found Seth Cravens guilty of second-degree murder Tuesday in the fatal beating last year of a professional surfer in La Jolla.
Sentencing was set for Jan. 12. Cravens’ defense lawyer said they would appeal the verdict.
Prosecutors had contended that Cravens, 22, was one of a group of five men who attacked Emery Kauanui, 24, on May 24, 2007, outside Kauanui’s mother’s home.
Cravens’ attorney, Mary Ellen Attridge, had told jurors that her client acted in self-defense. Prosecutors contended that the only person who acted in self-defense was Kauanui, who suffered a skull fracture and died in the hospital four days later.
The five men, all graduates of La Jolla High School, were called the Bird Rock Bandits and had engaged in many alcohol-fueled fights in the neighborhood over several years, prosecutors said during the trial.
Jurors were instructed to consider lesser offenses of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter if Cravens was acquited of second-degree murder, which carries a possible prison sentence of 15 years to life.
Jurors began deliberating the case on Nov. 10 after a two-week trial. The court was closed on Tuesday for Veterans Day. The panel of nine men and three women deliberated full days on Wednesday and Thursday.
For a time Monday, the jury was split 11-1. Whether the jury was leaning toward conviction or acquittal at that point was not disclosed at that time.
According to testimony, Cravens and four others – Eric House, Matthew Yanke, Orlando Osuna and Henri “Hank” Hendricks – left a La Jolla bar where House and Kauanui had gotten into an altercation.
The men drove to Kauanui’s mother’s home on Draper Avenue in La Jolla, where the fight broke out. At one point during the skirmish, Kauanui rose to his feet after being on the ground, according to testimony. He argued with Cravens, who witnesses said hit Kauanui once in the jaw, knocking him to the ground.
Yanke, House and Osuna pleaded guilty in June to involuntary manslaughter. House and Yanke were ordered to serve 210 days each in county jail. Osuna received the longest jail term at 349 days.
Read entire article HERE