Blake Leibel has been convicted of murder and other charges, for killing his live-in girlfriend in their West Hollywood apartment in a crime that a prosecutor said mirrored the script of a graphic novel that Leibel co-wrote.
Leibel is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole, with sentencing set June 26 at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles.
Leibel was charged with murder, torture and aggravated mayhem stemming from murder of Iana Kasian, 30, in May 2016 at the condominium building on the 8500 block of Holloway Drive.
He is the son of Lorne Leibel, a wealthy Toronto real estate developer known for his collection of Ferraris At the time of Kasian’s murder, Liebel was married to and had a child with another woman, Amanda Braun, with whom he lived in a Beverly Hills mansion. He filed for divorce from her in July 2015. In August 2015 Braun gave birth to their second son.
The District Attorney’s Office opted not to seek the death penalty against Leibel.
“This case reads like a movie script,” the prosecutor told jurors during the trial, adding that it was more like a horror movie about a “gruesome crime” that involved a “prolonged attack” in which Leibel’s girlfriend was “alive for the better part of the mutilation and mayhem.”
“He followed a script, as you will, in a book he authored – ‘Syndrome’,” Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef told the jury at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles.
Kasian’s nude body, which was covered with a Mickey Mouse blanket that had been used earlier in their newborn daughter’s nursery, was discovered on May 26, 2016, in the couple’s blood-spattered master bedroom after Kasian’s mother called authorities to report that she had not been able to reach her daughter, the deputy district attorney said.
She showed jurors an illustration of a woman in the book and urged them to compare it with the crime scene, saying it’s “almost exactly like what you have” in the case.
Leibel had barricaded himself inside the master bedroom and came out in boxer shorts after his accountant showed up, with sheriff’s deputies discovering “blood everywhere,” Mokayef said.
The woman appeared to have been washed thoroughly and was missing her scalp and the right side of her face, and pieces of flesh were found in the room, the prosecutor said. She noted that part of the victim’s scalp and an ear were subsequently discovered in a trash bin at the bottom of a chute outside the condominium.