Court Rejects Appeal to Reduce Sentence of the Boyfriend Who Murdered Kurtland Ma

A state appeals court panel today upheld a man’s 12-year prison sentence for fatally stabbing and mutilating his live-in boyfriend at their West Hollywood apartment at 939 Palm Ave.

The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that L.A. Superior Court Judge Mark Windham should have sentenced Andre Davids to six years in prison for the March 29, 2014, death of Kurtland Ma.

Davids, now 39, was convicted last December of voluntary manslaughter. Jurors acquitted him of the more serious charge of second-degree murder in the 34-year-old emergency room doctor’s killing.

“Here, Davids severely mutilated and killed Ma using several knives. The crime thus involved great violence and great bodily harm and showed a high degree of callousness and indicated Davids posed a serious danger to society,” the appellate court panel wrote in its five-page ruling. “Considering Davids’ callousness and violence in committing this crime, the trial court acted within its discretion in imposing the upper term.”

Andre Davids, left, and Kurtland Ma
Andre Davids, left, and Kurtland Ma

Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee called it “absolutely one of the most gruesome crime scenes that I or the homicide detectives have ever seen.”

The prosecutor noted that Ma suffered about 40 stab wounds, was “disemboweled,” with some of his organs stuffed into his mouth, and pill bottles and pills shoved into his body cavity in a killing motivated by Ma’s decision to break up with Davids.

The defendant was found inside a bathroom in the apartment. Authorities said that he appeared to have taken a large amount of pills. He was arrested the next day.

Ma had a wide circle of friends in places ranging from Scottsdale and Phoenix, Ariz., where he grew up and went to high school, to New York City where he did his residency at Jacobi Medical Center-Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Ma got a job at Memorial Hospital in Gardena in early 2014, and he rented the apartment on Palm Avenue in West Hollywood. Because Ma had been traveling — taking a trip to Japan — he didn’t actually arrive in WeHo until March 24. Davids murdered him less than a week later.

During Davids’ sentencing hearing in January, the victim’s brother, Wayland Ma, told the defendant, “When anyone, including your family, looks at you, the first thing they will see is a murderer. Even if they say they’re OK with having you alone in a room with their family, no matter what they say to you, what you have done will always be on their mind. You will never escape the evil you carry inside of you, and people will know.”

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Jimmy Palmieri
3 years ago

i will never understand how this monster didn’t get first degree murder and life sentence. the pain he has caused so many will be his legacy.

C.R.
C.R.
3 years ago

Unless the 12 years is a mandatory sentence, he’ll be out much sooner. And there’s a good chance he’ll be right back in the local community and nobody will know what’s in his history unless they do a Google search on his name. That should not be acceptable, there are no words for this.

SaveWeho
SaveWeho
3 years ago

I’d be curious to know what drugs David’s was actually on that would be acceptable for this kind of brutal crime. They say “prescription drugs” so that rules out stuff like cocaine, heroin or other hallucinogenic type drugs. I think its important to know this. I just cant believe this kind of crime is only 12 years in prison with its gory details. “Crime of passion” laws are a lame defense and something really created by lawyers. They should be abolished. A crime is a crime.

fine7760
3 years ago
Reply to  SaveWeho

Morphine comes to mind as a prescription drug that does cause hallucinations when abused or over prescribed.

90069
90069
3 years ago

Doing some research this is an appropriate conviction. Since the crime was committed while the defendant was under the influence of prescription drugs and it was a crime of passion and not premeditated. Based on CA law that is manslaughter and not murder, even though the crime is unconscionably horrific and tragic. 12 years is the longest term one can be jailed for that crime and Davids received it.

kab1200
kab1200
3 years ago

This should be in prison for life, I don’t understand even 12 years, that is nothing.

fine7760
3 years ago

Davids should have been convicted of First Degree Murder, manslaughter is a joke. But what does one expect with the liberals controlling California. Perhaps he will suffer a fatal accident while in prison.

Not that I ever want to encounter Davids in the future but he looks very familiar. I just wish I could clear my mind and be able to figure it out. I have never been a regular in the bar seen in West Hollywood or any where else. It just haunts me where I know him from.

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