Jurors Convict Second of Two Brothers in Parent Murders
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A jury convicted a second brother of murder and conspiracy in the 1985 deaths of his elderly parents, who were killed in their garage by hitmen wearing black ninja costumes.
Neil Woodman, 52, faces a 25-years-to-life prison term when he is sentenced Feb. 26 in the murders, a case that was the basis for the television movie ``Bloodlines.″
In Woodman’s first trial in 1993, a jury deadlocked 7-5 in favor of convicting him.
Woodman’s younger brother, Stewart, 46, was convicted in 1991 of soliciting the murders and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty after he agreed to testify against his brother.
Gerald Woodman, 67, and his wife Vera, 63, were gunned down Sept. 25, 1985, in their Brentwood condominium garage after returning from a Yom Kippur dinner.
Prosecutors said the brothers hired two men to kill their parents in a scheme to collect on their mother’s $500,000 insurance policy. They needed the money to save the failing plastics manufacturing company their father had founded a decade earlier, Deputy District Attorney Patrick Dixon said.
Two other brothers also were convicted of murder in the case. The triggerman, Steven Homick who was briefly a Los Angeles police officer in the 1960s, was sentenced to death; Robert Homick is serving a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
The Woodmans previously were convicted of federal charges of crossing state lines to orchestrate the murder because the Homicks were hired out of Las Vegas.
As the verdict was read in Superior Court on Monday, Neil Woodman faced his family and mouthed, ``I’m not guilty.″ His wife, Maxine, put her head in her hands and wept.
Woodman was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and a single county of conspiracy. Woodman’s attorney had claimed his client had been set up by his brother.