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Bank Exec Faces Possible Life Sentence

April 29, 1986

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) _ A former bank executive faces a prison term of 15 years to life after being convicted of second-degree murder in the bathtub slaying of a 19-year-old prostitute.

Marin County Superior Court Judge Beverly Bloch Savitt set sentencing for May 22.

Leslie Arthur Byrd, 40, said he accidentally drowned Cynthia L. Engstrom, of San Francisco, in his bathtub during a bondage session last June at his Novato home. According to testimony, the session took place while Byrd’s wife and their two daughters were at a Girl Scout camp .

Ms. Engstrom’s family has a $1 million wrongful-death lawsuit pending against Byrd and Westamerica Bank, where Byrd held a $72,000-a-year post as a senior vice president before he was fired because of his repeated encounters with prostitutes.

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